Wealden District Council

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are for people who need extra help with their rent when Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance, or Universal Credit doesn't cover the full amount.

If you are suffering severe financial hardship or your tenancy is at risk, you may be able to get a DHP to help.

The Government has set restrictions on how much money can be paid out in any financial year to fund DHP. The payments are made from a limited fund and are made as a short term measure for those experiencing difficult circumstances.

Who can get extra Discretionary Housing Payments

To get a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) you must be:

  • receiving Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance, or Universal Credit (including the housing element)
  • reside in Wealden District Council
  • be able to demonstrate financial need

In certain circumstances we may be able to pay a DHP to cover a rent deposit, rent in advance or removal expenses. To be eligible for this must meet the above criteria as well as have a valid reason to move.

In addition, the property must be affordable and any deposit amount must be reasonable.

A Discretionary Housing Payment may be paid if: 

  • someone in the household has needs associated with disability or ill health
  • the accommodation has been adapted because of disability
  • someone in the household has a relevant medical need
  • it is not possible or practical for someone to look for alternative accommodation
  • This is not an exhaustive list and does not cover all the circumstances in which a DHP may be paid

A Discretionary Housing Payment will not be paid for the following:

water, meals, fuel or other ineligible charges included in your rent

shortfall in housing benefit due to an overpayment being recovered

rent that is clearly excessive

increase in rent due to outstanding rent arrears

shortfall caused by certain sanctions and reductions in benefit

How to apply

You can complete our online  application form for Discretionary Housing Payment  or download our Discretionary Housing Payment form (pdf).

You will need to give us as much detail as possible about your situation in order for us to make a decision regarding your request.

Before we consider awarding a discretionary payment, we will check that you have claimed all other benefits you are entitled to and that they are being paid correctly. We will also look at the information provided on your application form and your personal circumstances. When we have made a decision, we will write and let you know.

If you would like more information about Discretionary Housing Payments please look at our Discretionary Housing Payment Policy (pdf).