You may be eligible for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) if you already receive Housing Benefit (HB) or the housing element of Universal Credit (UC), but still have to pay some rent yourself.
DHP is paid from a limited amount of money that central government gives to the council each year.
Who can claim
To get extra help with your rent you must already get some HB or the housing element of UC, but still have to pay some rent yourself.
We would expect people who are claiming DHP to have made efforts to:
- negotiate a lower rent with their landlord;
- look at cheaper alternative accommodation
- seek help from the Housing Options Team to find a solution to the shortfall between the rent and the HB or UC.
How much you can get
It depends on your circumstances. There are no set rules about how much to give people. It will usually only be paid if you have special financial or personal circumstances. The extra money would also help to improve these circumstances.
We cannot pay you more than your eligible rent costs. Some people may not get any extra help at all. DHP may only be awarded for a fixed period of time and can be withdrawn at any time. In some cases we will award DHP for a limited period to give customers time to find alternative accommodation that they can afford.
What DHP cannot cover
We cannot give you discretionary housing payments to:
- Cover some charges that may be included in your rent that you could not get housing benefit for, such as money for gas and electricity, water rates, meals or service charges.
- Cover any shortfall in your housing benefit or Universal Credit because you are paying back an overpayment.
The way you need to claim DHP depends on which benefit are you getting to help you pay your rent:
Universal Credit housing cost element
If you are getting Universal Credit housing cost element you should
- download and print the DHP for Universal Credit form .
- contact us and ask for a DHP for UC form.
If you are getting Housing Benefit you should
- download and print the DHP for Housing Benefit form.
- contact us and ask for a DHP for HB application form.
For more details about our opening hours and how to contact us, go to Merton Benefits Service contact page.