Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are payments made at the discretion of the Council to help people who are entitled to, or in receipt of housing benefit and cannot afford to pay their rent costs. The Government gives the Council a limited amount of money to help in these circumstances so we will look at your financial circumstances to decide if you can make up the shortfall in your rent or housing costs.
Where it is established that you have enough money left over once your priority debts are paid then no help can be given. We will expect you to use this money to keep up to date with your rent.
A DHP can be considered for:
If you have been affected by changes to the Benefit Cap you can claim a DHP
The award will only be for a limited period of six weeks. Awards will only be made above the first £30 of your rent shortfall. This means that if your reduction in Housing Benefit is less than £30 per week you will not be awarded a DHP. If your reduction in Housing Benefit is more than £30 per week you will need to pay the first £30 of your rent to your landlord straight away.
Applications should be made online, or assisted telephone claims can be made by telephoning the Discretionary Housing Payment team.
If you are renting from a private landlord then the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will apply to you.
The LHA is based on a set area where the claimant lives, the number of occupiers in the property and their ages.
The LHA that is used to work out your benefit will depend on how many people are in your household.
Allow one bedroom for *:
We do not count other rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom
* Single claimants under 35 years old will be entitled to the shared accommodation rate of LHA.
Single claimants over 35 years old and couples with no dependent children will be entitled to the 1 bedroom rate of LHA, providing they have exclusive use of a property of at least that size.
For example, an adult couple with one child would need 1 bedroom for the couple, and 1 bedroom for the child. We would use the 2 bedroom LHA level to work out their benefit.
The Local Housing Allowance rates for 2016 are: