Discretionary housing payment

Discretionary housing payments are payments that can be awarded in addition to your housing benefit and universal credit.

In this section:
Eligibility for discretionary housing payments (DHPs)

Eligibility for discretionary housing payments (DHPs)

DHPs are awarded from a cash limited budget where we consider additional help is needed.

DHPs can be awarded for the following:

  • rent deposit and/or rent in advance
  • shortfall in rent and/or rent arrears

We cannot award DHPs to help with ineligible amounts included in your rent, for example, certain service charges, gas, electric, food and water rates.

DHPs are not available to help with any shortfall in council tax reduction.

    Eligibility for help

    You can only receive a DHP towards your rent if you are in receipt of, or will be entitled to 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.

    Qualifying for a payment 

    You can qualify for a discretionary housing payment if:

    • you have unavoidable extra expenses due to short term illness or significant health problems
    • you have had, or are having difficulty paying your rent 
    • Local Housing Allowance does not cover your full rent
    • your income (benefit) has reduced due to the benefit cap
    • 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
    • when you moved into the property you could afford the rent but your circumstances changed and you cannot move until your tenancy ends

    This list is a guide only and will not cover all circumstances. Each case is considered individually.

    We also look at other factors such as:

    • the amount of savings you have
    • can anyone in the household provide financial help?
    • whether you have debts
    • have you chosen to rent an expensive property without the means to pay the rent?
    • have you tried to renegotiate the rent with the landlord?

    Applying for a discretionary housing payment     

    Things to be aware of when using our online system:

    • you can save your online form at any point and go back to it later (within 14 days)
    • remember to take a note of your unique key before exiting (you will need this to return to your application)
    • scanned evidence should be uploaded with the form before you submit it. As once the online form has been submitted you will not be able to upload any further documents
    • you must provide us with a phone number and email address so we can contact you (if you do not provide an email address you will not receive a confirmation email)
    • at the end of the online form you must click 'I agree' after reading the declaration
    • once you have submitted your application, do not exit the page until you see your reference number and confirmation that it has been successfully submitted
    • once the online form has been submitted you will not be able to upload any further documents. You will need to send any supporting documents separately using our supporting documents online form or by emailing them to dhp@hillingdon.gov.uk.  You must include your name  and "DHP"in the subject line of the email .

    Bear in mind that you may be asked for further evidence once your application has been checked by an officer.

    Please note: Access to the online application will be unavailable due to system maintenance every evening, between 11.15pm and 12.15am. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    If you receive an error message, you can save your application and submit the form later. Ensure you submit it within 14 days of starting the application.

    Apply for a discretionary housing payment

    Page last updated: 22 Sep 2022