Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payment – if you need help

  • to pay your rent
  • to pay removal costs
  • to pay rent in advance

What are Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)

Discretionary Housing Payments can provide extra help when Housing Benefit or Universal Credit doesn't provide enough money to pay your rent or you need help to move to somewhere more suitable.

Who can get a DHP

You can only get a DHP if you receive Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit.

What DHPs can help with

You may be able to get a DHP where:

  • you have a spare bedroom that Housing Benefit or Universal Credit do not pay for
  • there is someone in the property who has a disability 
  • you need to move to more suitable accommodation and need to pay rent in advance or you need help with removal costs
  • a benefit cap has reduced the Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you receive
  • there is a shortfall between the amount of Housing Benefit or Housing Costs in Universal Credit you get and the amount of rent you have to pay

These are only examples and don't cover all the circumstances in which a DHP can be awarded.

What DHP’s can’t cover

We can't make a payment for the following purposes:

  • council tax – but you can apply for an Exceptional Hardship payment
  • if you get Universal Credit but not the Housing Costs element
  • to pay service charges which are not covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
  • to pay a deposit to secure accommodation

  • where your Housing Benefit is reduced to recover an overpayment
  • to pay rent that is clearly excessive
  • to cover increases in rent because you’re in rent arrears
  • When benefit has been reduced by the Department for Work and Pensions due to a sanction

How to apply and what you’ll need to provide

  • in all cases we’ll need to see bank statements for all accounts
  • if you get Universal Credit we’ll need to see a screenshot showing the breakdown of your latest payment from your online journal on the Gov.UK website
  • if you have rent arrears we’ll need to see a full rent statement
  • if you are applying for help with removal costs we’ll need to see 2 quotes
  • if you are applying for a Rent In Advance payment we’ll need confirmation of the amount from the landlord.


Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment


Please give as much information as possible to help us understand your circumstances.  You will need to fill in information about money you have coming in and the money you spend. You can upload evidence when you submit your application
If you are unable to complete the form using the link above you can ring 01752 668000.

Providing additional evidence

If you need to provide additional evidence for your claim you can upload it using the link below

Provide additional evidence

How we make our decision

To decide how much DHP you can get we consider the following:

  • household income
  • any savings
  • if anyone else is able to help you financially
  • if you could re-arrange your finances to ease the situation
  • if you have any debts
  • if you or your family have any special circumstances, like ill health or disability
  • any other relevant information

We will write to you with our decision and the reasons for it. Any DHP you receive will depend on your circumstances and will generally be for a short time only.
If your circumstances change after you have been awarded a DHP you must notify us within one month so we can look at our decision and see whether your payment needs to be changed.

Report a change in circumstances

If your application is successful payment will be made into the bank account you have nominated or to your landlord if requested or if we feel it is in your best interest. We can let you know if you'll receive this payment before you start a tenancy with a landlord.

How to appeal

If you disagree with a decision you can’t appeal but you can ask us to provide an explanation.  You will need to submit a general enquiry or write to us at Revenues and Benefits, Plymouth City Council, PO Box 293, Plymouth PL5 9BZ within one month of the date of the decision letter and we’ll see if our decision needs to be changed.