Discretionary housing payment

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 (see below)
  • 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 will be £300.
  • 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 the below list provides an example:

  • Fuel charges
  • Meals
  • 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
  • Laundry
  • Medical expenses
  • Nursing and personal care
  • Sports facilities
  • Transport

DHP will not be awarded to fund accommodation for a child who is not living in the property on a permanent basis. In instances where there is joint custody, a child will be considered to be living with the parent who is in receipt of the Child Benefit or Child Tax Credit for that child.

Once the DHP fund is spent or committed we cannot make further payments in that financial year.

Download the DHP application form