Discretionary housing payments

Discretionary housing payments (DHPs) are given to people who need extra help to pay their rent because either:

  • the benefit they receive does not cover the whole amount
  • they are subject to certain benefit reductions
  • they need help paying for removal costs

A DHP may be granted to help people remain in their current home. This is more likely where they have a disability and have adapted their home to meet their own needs or are looking to move and make essential changes. It may also apply to other circumstances where it would be better for them to stay. Removal costs may be funded when moving to more affordable or appropriate accommodation.

For more details, see our DHP policy statement and procedures (PDF).

Who can apply for a DHP

You may be entitled to apply for a DHP if:

  • you are currently claiming Housing Benefit or you are in receipt of housing costs in your claim for Universal Credit and are having problems paying your rent
  • you are moving to smaller or cheaper accommodation and are unable to pay removal costs

Where you cannot claim a DHP

We cannot give a DHP to assist with:

  • covering service charges that are not covered by rental benefits
  • helping to pay your rent arrears or Council Tax
  • covering any deductions made for recovery of an advance, loan, arrears or debt
  • paying your rent because your benefit claim has been suspended or is not yet being paid

Apply for a DHP

If you have a Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support or a Universal Credit claim, this must be correct and up to date before we can make a decision on your DHP request.

You need to provide evidence in support of your application. You should provide as much evidence as possible. If you do not provide details regarding household income, capital and expenditure, your application may be refused.

If you're applying online, your supporting documents need to be scanned or downloaded and ready to upload.

You need to provide the following evidence depending on your circumstances:

Where a household member is an adult student:

  • Student certificate

A household member’s receipt of Universal Credit:

  • Downloaded copy of Universal Credit assessment

Or:

  • Full screenshot(s) of Universal Credit assessment from top to bottom. Make sure you capture name and address at the very top all the way through to the exact amount paid after any reductions/deductions have been taken into account at the very bottom, and everything inbetween (if anything is missing, the DHP is unlikely to be awarded)

Childcare costs:

  • Proof of recent costs

Home rental with a private landlord:

  • Most recent tenancy agreement and any subsequent rent update documents

Home rental with a housing association:

  • recent rental statement and proof of any recent rent increase, if not showing on the statement

Legal proceedings for rent arrears:

  • Notice to Quit
  • Possession Order

Funding needed for move to more affordable housing:

  • Housing removal quotation

Balance of all bank accounts for all household members:

  • Recent bank statement

Other supporting evidence, depending on circumstances:

  • Letters or documents detailing medical condition(s)
  • Care orders
  • Correspondence relating to tenancy or landlord issues
  • Correspondence relating to social services involvement
  • Correspondence relating to debt and advice organisation support

Apply for a DHP

You can also download and complete a paper DHP application form (PDF). You can send this, along with your evidence:

By post:

Swindon Borough Council
(Benefits) Admail 4144
Swindon.
SN3 5ZR

By email:

swindon.benefits@secure.capita.co.uk

(Please be aware that e-mail is not a secure form of communication and any e-mail sent to the council is at the individual’s own risk.)

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