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Discretionary housing payment

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are payments that can be awarded if your housing benefit is less than the amount of rent you are being charged.

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DHPs can also be paid for rent deposit and/or rent in advance and moving costs. However, moving costs can only be considered in exceptional circumstances.  You need to be entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (with housing costs), at the time you apply. The rent for the new accommodation should be affordable (in line with Local Housing Allowance rates) and the number of bedrooms should not exceed the size criteria.  The application must be made before you enter into the tenancy or move into the property.

DHPs are not payments of housing benefit.  They are awarded from a cash limited budget, at the discretion of the local council, where we consider additional help is needed.  We cannot award DHPs to help with ineligible amounts included in your rent e.g. certain service charges, gas, electric, food, water rates etc.

DHPs are not available to help with any shortfall in Council Tax Reduction.

As DHPs are paid from a limited fund, they are usually awarded as a short-term measure to help people while they make efforts to resolve their difficulties and the council targets payments to those in the greatest need.

Eligibility for help

You can only receive a DHP towards your rent if you are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit with a housing element.
You will have to demonstrate that due to your personal circumstances you need extra help with your housing costs.
We can pay up to the difference between your housing benefit and your rent. The amount and length of award will depend on your circumstances and the amount of money we have available, but would not exceed 52 weeks. Once the period has ended if your circumstances are the same and you still need extra help you will need to complete a new DHP application, we will then review your situation. We cannot guarantee that you will continue to receive a DHP.

Qualifying for DHP

  • You have unavoidable extra expenses due to short term illness or significant health problems.
  • You are having difficulty paying your rent whilst you look for cheaper accommodation.
  • The Local Housing Allowance does not cover your full rent.
  • Your income (benefit) has reduced due to the benefit cap.
  • You are receiving Universal Credit and have a rental liability.
  • You are receiving less housing benefit because you are under occupying your property.
  • Your choice of housing was beyond your control due to urgency or special needs.
  • You have unusual or special circumstances.
  • When you moved into the property you could afford the rent but your circumstances changed and you cannot move until your tenancy ends.
  • To help you with short-term rental costs until you are able to secure and move to alternative accommodation.
  • To help with short-term rental costs while you look for employment.
  • To help with on-going rental costs if you are a disabled person in adapted accommodation suitable for your needs.
  • To help with short term rental costs for any other reason.
  • To help with housing costs ie rent deposits and/or rent in advance and moving costs to move to more affordable accommodation.

This list is a guide only and will not cover all circumstances. Each case is considered on its merits. We also look at other factors such as:

  • do you have savings?
  • can anyone in the household provide financial help?
  • do you have debts?
  • have you chosen to rent an expensive property without the means to pay the rent?
  • have you tried to re-negotiate the rent with the landlord?

Apply for a DHP

Note: DHP is not available to help with any shortfall in Council Tax reduction​

Supporting documentation

In support of your application for a DHP you need to provide the documentation listed below. These should be uploaded as a scanned image or digital photo to your application form.  We will not be able to pay you any DHP until you provide your documents

You will need to provide the following:

  • your last two month's bank, building society and Post Office statements for yourself and partner 
  • details of any: Premium Bonds, National Savings Income Bonds, Stocks and Shares, Unit trusts, PEP's, ISA's, TESSA's held by yourself and partner. 
  • details of any other property you own
  • details of any money you are owed
  • proof of any savings held by someone else on your behalf
  • proof of rent arrears
  • proof of any rent deposit and/or advance you need to pay to move
  • proof of outstanding debts or bills
  • any supporting evidence ie letter from doctor,hospital, social/welfare agency
  • your Universal Credit award letter
  • if you are receiving Universal Credit, details of the bank account you wish any DHP payment to be paid to, ie name of bank, account number, sort code, name of account holder.    

Supporting documents / evidence not uploaded with the application form

We will accept scanned or a photo image of the original documents sent to benefits@hillingdon.gov.uk, or they can be uploaded using the providing additional documentsform.  If you are not able to upload the information / documents at home we have free computers for you to use in our Benefit Self Serve area at the Civic Centre Uxbridge, Hayes One Stop Shop.  The self serve areas are available 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday with a last entry of 4:30pm. Free computers are also available in our libraries.  If you send original documents by post, we will copy your documents and send them straight back to you (we do not recomment you post your passport or building society pass books)

Decisions and payments

We cannot make a payment until your Housing Benefit/Universal Credit claim has been fully assessed.
Once a decision is made you will be notified in writing of the outcome. If successful you will also be told the amount and the period of payment.

You must notify the Housing Benefit section of any change in circumstances which may affect the level or amount of DHP, including changes in circumstances which occur between completing this form and the decision being made and after a decision to award DHP is made.

How will you receive any DHP payment?

In receipt of Housing Benefit:

  • private and Housing Association tenants - it will be paid with your Housing Benefit payment
  • council tenants - it will be paid to your rent account

In receipt of  Universal Credit - it will be paid to your bank account

Payments for rent deposit, rent in advance, rent arrears can be paid directly to the relevant landlord

Payments of moving costs can be paid direct to the moving company.

Further information

For further information please contact the Housing Benefit section.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 15 Mar 2018 at 14:11