Discretionary housing payment - DHP

Discretionary Housing Payment - DHP

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) can provide help to our residents who need further financial assistance with housing costs.

Important: please read the following information before starting an application for a DHP.

When applying, you must provide any information that is relevant to your claim to help the decision maker fully assess your claim and come to a decision.

We will not accept your application for a DHP without first seeing;

  • Proof of the rent you pay.
  • Proof of your present benefit entitlement
  • Your bank statements for the last calendar month.

These can be uploaded once you have completed the online application; if you are unable to do this, you may send your documents to;

Welfare Reform Team, Civic Offices,St Nicholas Way, Sutton,SM1 1EA. Alternatively,you may bring your evidence to the reception area and the reception staff will scan it for you.

Apply for DHP

Discretionary Housing Payment - DHP

Anyone resident who requires assistance with housing costs and is currently claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit can apply for a DHP.

Examples of what DHPs cover:

  • reductions in housing benefit or universal credit where a benefit cap has been applied, for under-occupancy in the social rent sector or as a result of LHA rent restrictions
  • rent shortfall to prevent a household becoming homeless whilst the housing authority explores alternative options
  • rent officer restrictions such as 'local reference rent' or shared room rate

DHPs cannot be used to cover costs that are not eligible for housing benefit, for instance:

  • ineligible service charges
  • increases in rent due to outstanding arrears
  • certain sanctions and reductions in benefit
  • a housing benefit or universal credit overpayment

When considering DHP applications, circumstances that will be taken into account include:

  • the claimant/partner's age and health
  • whether there are children in the household
  • the council's duty to prevent homelessness
  • steps taken by the claimant to alleviate the problem
  • income, capital levels and other necessary expenditure
  • special circumstances that make it difficult for the claimant to move/live elsewhere
  • future job prospects
  • the amount of DHP funds available

Hardship Fund (HF)

Anyone resident who is currently claiming Council Tax Reduction can apply to the Council’s Hardship Fund. You can apply for assistance if you are finding it hard to pay the shortfall between your monthly Council Tax Reduction amount and your monthly Council Tax instalment.

If you are experiencing exceptional hardship that is beyond your control, you could qualify for help to reduce your annual Council Tax bill.

To qualify for the Council Tax Hardship Fund Scheme, you must show that:

  • the amount of money you have coming in is less than your outgoings and you have no savings
  • you have applied for all other help, such as benefits and otherreductions/discounts

Our budget is limited so any help you recieve will be for a limited amount and a limited period.


You must be claimingCouncil Tax Reduction You can apply if you are experiencing severe financial or personal hardship outside of your control.