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Discretionary Housing Payment - Help with housing and rent

A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is an emergency payment to help you with your rent or housing costs.

A DHP is only awarded for a short period of time and shouldn't be considered a permanent solution to a shortfall in your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit payment. 

Who is eligible?

You must get either Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit to be eligible.

In addition, you must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • Your Housing Benefit payment doesn't cover all your rent.
  • Your Universal Credit payment doesn't cover all your housing costs.
  • You need help with removal costs.
  • You need help with a rent deposit.

Before applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment, you may want to:

  • Try negotiating a lower rent with your landlord.
  • Look for cheaper accommodation.

What information do we need?

You will need the following information available before you start your application:

  • A detailed breakdown of all the income you receive, your expenses, your savings and your debts.
  • Names, dates of birth and income details for everyone who lives in your home.
  • Proof of any debts or rent arrears you have, such as an arrears statement.
  • Why you think you need extra help to meet your housing costs.
  • If you receive Universal Credit, your latest Universal Credit award letter and proof of how much your rent is, such as a copy of your tenancy agreement.
  • If you rent your home, the name of your landlord.
  • If someone provides care and support for a member of your household, their name and address.
  • Account number and sort code for the account where you would like your payments made.

How to apply

To make a claim for a Discretionary Housing Payment:

  1. Complete the Discretionary Housing Payment application form. You should apply as soon as possible as we may only pay your claim from the date we receive your request.
  2. We aim to respond to you within 10 working days to tell you whether or not your claim has been successful. We'll tell you how much you'll get and how long it will last for. You can reapply when the payment stops if you need to.

Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment - Rochdale Council website (external link).

How much can you receive?

The maximum amount you might get is your full rent minus the amount of Housing Benefit or housing element of your Universal Credit you receive.

If you've been affected by the Benefit Cap, you may be allowed more depending on your circumstances.

How will it be paid?

If your claim is successful and you receive:

  • Housing Benefit - you'll get your Discretionary Housing Payment at the same time as your next Housing Benefit payment.
  • Universal Credit - you'll get your Discretionary Housing Payment as a separate payment paid directly into your bank account.

How can you use your payment?

You can use a Discretionary Housing Payment to pay for:

  • Rent.
  • Deposit or bond for moving house.
  • Rent arrears.

You can't use a Discretionary Housing Payment to pay for:

  • Council Tax.
  • Service charges not covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, such as gas, water or electricity.
  • Increases in rent due to outstanding rent arrears.
  • A shortfall in your Housing Benefit due to repaying overpaid Housing Benefit.
  • Rent that's clearly excessive.

What if you disagree with our decision?

You don't have any right of appeal if we turn down your claim. However, you can ask us to look at the decision again. This is called a review.

Please get in touch using the contact details on this page to ask us for a review of a DHP decision.

Changes you must tell us about

You must tell us about anything you think might affect your entitlement to Discretionary Housing Payments. You must do this within 1 month of the change taking place.

Please use the contact details on this page to tell us about changes in your circumstances.

Who to contact

0300 303 8870

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm
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