Discretionary housing payments is a way of helping you if the housing benefit or Universal Credit (housing costs element) you get is not enough to pay your rent. We may also be able to consider a discretionary housing payment to help with a deposit, rent in advance or removal costs.  

Discretionary housing payments are not the same as housing benefit or Universal Credit. They are special payments, which come from a separate cash limited fund.  

Apply for a discretionary housing payment

You can apply online through our website.

Apply for a discretionary housing payment

Apply for a discretionary housing payment (deposit/rent in advance/removal costs only) 

The award

There are no set criteria for deciding whether you can have a discretionary housing payment other than that you must be in receipt of housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.

Each application is treated on its own merits. We will consider things like:

  • the amount you get in housing benefit or Universal Credit (housing costs element) and the amount you must pay
  • any efforts you have made to reduce your rent
  • your financial and medical circumstances and of anyone who lives with you
  • your income and expenditure and of anyone who lives with you
  • your savings and investments and any held by anyone else living with you
  • if you have any exceptional circumstances
  • the amount of money we have available in the fund when we consider your application
  • any other special situations

The amount of the discretionary housing payment and the period of the award

We will let you know how much we have awarded and the period we have given it to you for.

You may not get as much as you need to pay your full rent. The award may not be for as long as you would like.

The discretionary housing payment fund is meant to help with short term emergencies. If you get an award there is no guarantee that another award will be made later even if your circumstances have not changed.

If I don’t get an award or my award has ended, can I apply again?

If you are refused an award or have been awarded Discretionary Housing Payments and the award has ended, you can make a new application. This will not guarantee an award as your claim will still have to go through the decision-making process.

I don’t agree with your decision, what do I do?

There is no right of appeal to an independent tribunal. However, you can ask us to look at our decision again and another decision maker will look at your application.

You can ask for a review if:

  • we have refused your award, or
  • we have awarded a reduced amount, or
  • we have told you we have overpaid you.