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Discretionary housing payments

Discretionary Housing Payments are intended to provide short-term financial assistance to help with housing costs for those who receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

What is the purpose of Discretionary Housing Payments?

Discretionary Housing Payments provide further financial assistance, over and above any welfare benefits, when help with housing costs is required. They cannot be used for any other purpose.

Who qualifies for Discretionary Housing Payments?

Anyone in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit who requires short-term assistance with housing costs, such as rent.

Does that mean if I lose Housing Benefit or Universal Credit because of the occupancy rules, I can make up the difference through a Discretionary Housing Payment?

No. If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and genuinely require financial assistance with your housing costs, you can apply. However, there is a limited fund available so not all applicants will be successful.

How does the council decide who gets a payment?

Each application will be considered on its own merits. The application form requests details of your income and outgoings as well as the circumstances and reason that the request is being made.

Priority will be given to those affected by the benefit changes and most in need. For example:

  • A tenant who is a foster carer and the property is deemed too big under the occupancy rules, even once relevant information in relation to foster care has been taken into account.
  • A tenant where a property has been adapted to suit the needs of a disabled person who still lives there and Housing Benefit is affected because of the occupancy rules.

Making a claim

You can claim by using our online application (you will need to allow pop-ups in your browser. You may experience difficulties completing this application if you are using an older version of browser). You can use this when you are applying for the first time or when your previous award has ended.

We may need to ask you for further information. We will contact you if this is required.

Discretionary Housing Payments are awarded for a set period of time and if you still wish to claim them at the end of that period, you will have to make another claim with your up to date financial information.

If you need further information or advice contact us at