Each year, local authorities are given a limited amount of money to provide additional help to those people who are having trouble paying their rental shortfall or finding enough money to pay for the start up costs of a tenancy, such as a deposit or rent in advance. This is known as the discretionary housing payment scheme.
Discretionary housing payment are awarded at the discretion of the Council and are only awarded as a short term measure. To qualify, the applicant must be in receipt of Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance or similar help under Universal Credit.
Discretionary housing payment can be awarded to cover a shortfall between your housing benefit/local housing allowance and your rent.
This can cover reductions such as:
- under occupancy restrictions
- benefit cap restrictions
- rules restricting rent for single people to a shared bedroom rate
- changes to local housing allowance rules
- a non dependent deduction
Discretionary housing payments cannot be claimed if your housing benefit/local housing allowance has been reduced to recover an over payment.
When you apply, you will be asked to provide full details of your household income and expenditure and proof of the amounts declared. The Council will then decide if you can make up the shortfall in your rent or if additional help from the discretionary housing payment fund applies. We will then write to you and inform you of our decision.