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Discretionary payments

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

We can consider awarding a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) if there is gap between the amount of rent you have to pay and the amount of housing benefit / Local Housing Allowance or Universal Credit you receive. Reasons could be:

  • your Housing Benefit being restricted under the maximum rent rules allowed due to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
  • your household income level
  • a single or shared room restriction if you are under 35
  • a benefit cap
  • an under-occupancy restriction.

DHP helps pay your rent

DHP can top-up housing benefit, but the total amount cannot be more than you pay in rent. It cannot be given to cover service charges, which may be included in your rent, and other things such as water rates or a tenant’s levy.

Our Discretionary Council Tax Support Fund Policy - April 2013 (PDF) gives more details about this award and the criteria we apply when considering applications. 

Apply for DHP

Apply online for Discretionary Housing Payment

We will assess your claim and write to you with our decision.

Council Tax Discretionary Relief

If you are suffering severe financial hardship and cannot pay the difference between the Council Tax you are charged and the amount of Council Tax support you receive, you may be able to apply for Council Tax Discretionary Relief.

Council Tax Discretionary Relief


The amount of any discretionary award will depend on your individual circumstances. You will need to show you are suffering severe financial hardship because of the shortfall in your benefits. The award is a short-term measure and should not be relied on in the longer term.

Limited funds

The funds available for discretionary payments are limited each year. Once these have been spent no awards can be made that financial year.