CenSus Partnership

What are Discretionary Housing Payments?

It is a way of helping you if the Housing Benefit you get is not enough to pay your rent.

Discretionary Housing Payments are not the same as Housing Benefit. They are special payments which come from a separate cash limited fund. Once the fund has been spent in any financial year no more Discretionary Housing Payments can be made.

How to Apply for Discretionary Housing Payments

If you feel you need extra help with your housing costs please complete the Discretionary Housing Payment form on-line or contact our offices for an application form or further advice.

The Award

There are no set criteria for deciding whether you can have a discretionary housing payment. Each application is treated on its own merits. We will consider things like:

  • The amount you get in Housing Benefit and the amount you have to 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 at a later date even if your circumstances have not changed.

If I don’t get an award because there are no funds left, can I apply again?

If you are refused an award because of funding and your circumstances have not changed, you can apply again in the new financial year. 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. This is called reviewing the decision.

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

Please contact us if you want us to look at our decision again.


Discretionary Housing Payments Policy (pdf, 67KB)