What is discretionary housing payment
Discretionary housing payment (DHP) is intended to help claimants who already receive housing benefit or Universal Credit (housing element) but require further assistance to meet their housing costs.
DHP can be used for
- rent, excluding service charges
- removal charges where the claimant is moving to secure a more affordable tenancy, or a property of a more appropriate size. The claimant must provide receipts or quotes with the application. Van hire and petrol costs can also be paid. The maximum payment to help with removal costs is up to £500 for moves within the Borders and £800 for moves between two local authority areas
- rent deposits where the claimant is moving to secure a more affordable tenancy, or a property of a more appropriate size and a deposit cannot be obtained from other means such as the rent deposit scheme
DHP cannot be used for
DHP does not cover additional services charged to the tenant or a rent element which would not be considered for housing benefit purposes.
It is impossible to list all of the ineligible costs, however some examples are:
- fuel charges
- water and sewerage charges
- cable and satellite, TV licence, TV rental
- window cleaning - unless the claimant is in sheltered accommodation or the tenant is unable to do it themselves due to age, disability or the fact that their accommodation is not on the ground floor
- cleaning - unless it is for a communal area
- counselling and support services
- emergency alarm system
- medical expenses
- nursing and personal care
- sports facilities
Once the DHP fund is spent or committed we cannot make further payments in that financial year.