Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are payments that can be awarded if your housing benefit is less than the amount you are being charged for rent.
They are not payments of housing benefit. DHPs are awarded from a cash limited budget, at the discretion of your local council, where we consider additional help is needed. We cannot award DHPs to help with ineligible amounts included in your rent e.g. certain service charges, gas, electric, food, water rates etc. or for rent increases due to rent arrears
Eligibility for help
You can only receive a DHP towards your rent if you are receiving housing benefit. You can receive DHPs towards both your rent and council tax liabilities.
Additionally, you need to demonstrate that due to your personal circumstances you need extra help with your housing costs
We can pay up to the difference between your housing benefit and your rent. The amount and length of award will depend on your circumstances and the amount of money we have available, but would not exceed 52 weeks.
Qualifying for DHP
You have unavoidable extra expenses due to short term illness or significant health problems
You are having difficulty paying your rent whilst you look for cheaper accommodation
The Local Housing Allowance does not cover your full rent
Your income has reduced due to the benefit cap
You are receiving Universal Credit and have a rental liability
you are receiving less housing benefit because you are under occupying your property
Your choice of housing was beyond your control due to urgency or special needs
You have unusual or special circumstances
When you moved into the property you could afford the rent but your circumstances changed and you cannot move until your tenancy ends
To help you with short-term rental costs until you are able to secure and move to alternative accommodation
To help with short-term rental costs while you look for employment
To help with on-going rental costs if you are a disabled person in adapted accommodation
To help with on-going rental costs for foster carer
To help with short term rental costs for any other reason
This list is a guide only and will not cover all circumstances. Each case is considered on it’s merits. We also look at other factors such as :
Do you have savings?
Can anyone in the household provide financial help?
Do you have other debts?
Have you chosen to rent an over-expensive property without the means to pay the rent?
Have you tried to re-negotiate the rent with the landlord?
These are examples of some of the factors we take into account.
If rent is paid to a private landlord or housing association, the DHP would be included in housing benefit payments. If rent is paid to the council, the DHP would be paid onto the rent account in with your housing benefit.
If you are awarded a DHP, you would be advised of the amount, and when payments would commence. If your circumstances changed and you were overpaid, you would be expected to repay the overpayment. It is very important therefore, that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances which may decrease your award, e.g increase in income, change in household composition, change of rental liability/address etc., so we can avoid overpaying.
To apply for a discretionary housing payment, please download the application pack from this page.
You can also request a form by calling 020 8583 4242.
For help or further information, please contact us either by telephone, or in person:
Revenues Services Offices:
Opening hours 9am to 4.15pm (Monday to Friday)
St Catherine’s House
2 Hanworth Road
Opening hours 9am to 4.45pm (Monday to Thursday)
9am to 4.30pm (Friday)
58/59 High Street
Opening hours 9am to 4.45pm (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday)
Closed for lunch1pm to 2pm
240 Summerwood Road
Opening hours 9am to 4.45pm(Monday)
9am to 4.30pm (Friday)
Closed for lunch 1pm to 2pm
Hounslow Revenue Services - Call centre
020 8583 4242
Opening hours 9am to 5pm (Monday to Thursday)
9am to 4.45pm (Friday)