Discretionary Housing Payment

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments are in addition to payments of housing benefit. They are not available to help people pay their Council Tax. They are paid to people who need more help to pay their rent, either to a private landlord or social landlord.

When people rent their homes privately and claim housing benefit, there is a limit to the housing benefit they get. This is based on the Local Housing Allowance rate or by a valuation of the rent set by the Valuation Office Agency. This sometimes means customers get less housing benefit than the actual rent due. Discretionary Housing Payments can be paid to make up for the difference.

Payments can also be used to help people to secure new accommodation, and can sometimes cover deposits or rent in advance, and some other housing costs. To enquire about help with a new property you will need to first contact our Housing Options Team.

 Some customers are able to pay the rest or can negotiate a lower rent with their landlord. However, other customers find the shortfall between their rent and their benefit causes financial strain and hardship. These are the customers who should apply for Discretionary Housing Payments.

Discretionary Housing Payments can also be claimed by people renting their homes from registered housing providers, or social landlords. This can cover people affected by the spare bedroom subsidy (also known as the bedroom tax) if they have a spare room, or cover on going payments if extra help is needed.

Payments are normally paid for set periods to give people time to get budgeting advice or find work. They may be used to help a family through a particularly tough period, or in some instances be paid for longer periods. Each application is considered on its own merits.