London Borough of Culture 2023

Back our bid to become the London Borough of Culture 2023

Back our bid

Discretionary housing payment-DHP

Discretionary Housing Payment- DHP and Hardship Fund HF

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) and the Hardship Fund (HF) can provide help to our residents who need further financial assistance with housing costs or council tax payments.

Important: please read the following information before starting an application for either DHP or HF.

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.

Apply for DHP and/or the hardship fund here

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 which 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

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.

When considering DHP or HF 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 or hardship fund (HF) funds available