Discretionary Housing Payment
A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is an extra payment if you need help with rent or housing costs. You must be living in the Arun area to claim with us. If you live outside the Arun area, even if you wish to move to Arun, you must apply to the local authority where you currently live. We will not pay for you to move into the Arun area.
Do not apply for DHP for flooring, carpets, furniture, white goods or debts. They're not eligible for DHP consideration.
You must get either Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit to be eligible. DHP cannot be awarded to tie you over until Universal Credit is awarded, you need to ask UC for an advance payment.
More details that are not covered on this page can be found on within our Discretionary Housing Payment Policy.
DHP can be used to help with:
The main type of shortfall that DHP can cover are:
a spare room that Housing Benefit will not pay for (bedroom tax)
your benefit being reduced as there’s a non-dependant in the household
an increase in the size of your family
reductions to your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit due to a benefit cap
Local Housing Allowance - you’re only entitled to the rate for a shared room or the maximum rate for 4 bedrooms
any other reason - for example your income is too high to be entitled to full help with your rent
A DHP for a rent shortfall is normally awarded for 3 months at an initial rate, which will then reduce by 50% for up to 3 months more. You are less likely to receive an award if this is not your first time of applying.
Rent in advance
Council tenants or housing association tenants
If you are renting a council property or from a housing association, we will consider helping you with up to 2 weeks rent in advance. You will need to arrange a repayment plan for any remaining advance/deposit due directly with your landlord.
If you are moving into a privately rented property, we will consider helping you with up to 4 weeks rent in advance. If you are being asked for more than this, you will need to pay the rest yourself.
In both cases, payment will only be made direct to your landlord.
You can claim DHP to help with moving costs. We will consider up to £750 to move within Arun. If you are moving out of Arun, we will consider what is reasonable based on the distance you are moving.
We will not award DHP for you to move into Arun from another area as you are not our financial responsibility. You must claim from the authority where you are moving from.
You need to apply before you move giving us 3 removal quotes so we can decide. You must complete a change of address at the same time as making a DHP application.
Before awarding a DHP we’ll expect that:
- the property is affordable
- you have a valid reason to move
- the moving costs are reasonable
The costs we usually cover are the cost of a:
- private van hire to move yourself
- removal firm to move you
We do not usually pay DHP for the cost of fuel:
- for using your own vehicle to move
- used in a private hire van
service charges not covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (gas, electric, water, meals)
increases in rent because you’re in arrears
rent costs when your benefit has been reduced by the Department for Work and Pensions normally because of a sanction
when your rent payment is reduced due to recovering a Housing Benefit overpayment
extra payments you are making to clear rent arrears
a notice period if you have had to move properties at short notice (you may be eligible to claim Housing Benefit on 2 homes)
if you get Universal Credit but not the housing costs element
How we decide a claim
We will consider the following when deciding:
your household income
if you have any savings
if you or your family are disabled
if anyone else is living in the property who could help
if there’s any way you can rearrange your finances to improve your situation
if you have any debts
if the household could budget to reduce the shortfall
any other relevant information
How we’ll tell you about our decision
We’ll write to you with our decision and the reason for it, usually within 14 working days.
Awards of DHP are normally made from the Monday following the date of the application if on housing benefit; or the start of your next Universal Credit assessment period.
Before you apply, you’ll need:
your full income and expenses details
a copy of your Universal Credit award letter if you get Universal Credit
details of any arrears of debts you may have
details of anyone who lives with you including their income
your bank details
details of your new property (if applicable)
If you disagree with our decision
You need to contact us within one month of the date on the decision letter explaining why you do not agree with our decision. You can find our contact details on the decision letter. We will then look at the decision again.
DHPs are not covered by the tribunal service so you cannot appeal to them.