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Discretionary Housing Payment

What is a Discretionary Housing Payment?

A Discretionary Housing Payment is a payment you may receive at the discretion of your local authority which can help towards housing costs if your Housing Benefit does not meet the full rent you must pay. There can be several reasons for this, for example:

  • your Local Housing Allowance is lower than your rent in private rented property

  • your Housing Benefit is reduced because of non-dependant deductions/housing costs contributions

  • your Housing Benefit is reduced because you are working age and it has been decided that you have a spare bedroom in social rented property

  • your Housing Benefit is reduced due to the Benefit Cap

A Discretionary Housing Payment could also be paid to help with a rent deposit or rent in advance for a property you haven't moved into yet as long as you are entitled to Housing Benefit for your current home. It could also help with lump sum expenses like removal costs.

A Discretionary Housing Payment can not be used to cover an increase in rent due to arrears or to make up the difference if an overpayment is being recovered from your Housing Benefit. It also can't help to cover certain sanctions or reductions in benefit.

Applies to: England, Wales and Scotland.

Age rules: There are no age rules that affect Discretionary Housing Payment entitlement. However, you must be old enough to have a legally enforceable liability for rent.

Taxable: No

Administered by: Your local authority