The council receives a limited amount of Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) funding each year to help residents whose housing benefit or Universal Credit only covers part of their rent, and they can't afford to pay the rest.
DHPs are normally given as a short term solution to give a resident time to adjust their circumstances to be able to afford the rent shortfall themselves, although there are circumstances when help can be provided for longer. Awards are routinely made to help residents move to cheaper alternative accommodation or improve their financial situation. Awards can also be made to ease financial hardship as a result of a change in circumstances, a reduction in income, or where a tenancy is at risk.
Each request for a DHP is considered on its individual merits, taking into account the finances and personal circumstances of the resident. It's therefore important that you give as much information as possible when applying.
A DHP can't be paid for:
- Rent arrears
- Loans or debts
- Reductions in income due to sanctions or a suspension of your benefit
- For water, meals, fuel or other ineligible service charges included in your rent
- To cover any shortfall in housing benefit that occurs when a benefit overpayment is recovered
If your claim is successful, you'll receive a letter that details the amount you will receive, the length of time it will be paid for, and how it will be paid. If your application is unsuccessful, you'll be sent a letter confirming why your application has been refused, together with details of how to ask for a review should you disagree with the decision.