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Discretionary Housing Payments

 

What are Discretionary Housing Payments?

Discretionary Housing Payments may be awarded, in addition to Housing Benefit, when the Council considers that a claimant requires further financial assistance towards housing costs.

Discretionary Housing Payments cannot be considered towards Council Tax liability.

The Council’s funding for Discretionary Housing Payments is limited. The payments are discretionary and can only be granted when certain criteria are met.

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 has been introduced by the Government and this has reduced the help available towards Housing costs in many cases.

The Discretionary Housing Payment is not intended to meet the reduction in benefits brought about by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 indefinitely. An award will only be paid for a short period of time to help people to find a way to meet the short-fall themselves or seek alternative accommodation.

 

Discretionary Housing Payment Policy

Discretionary Housing Payment Policy

Click here to view the Council’s Discretionary Housing Payment Policy.

 

 

What are the criteria for claiming a Discretionary Housing Payment?

You must be entitled to:

  • Housing Benefit, or
  • The housing element of Universal Credit, and
  • Require further assistance with housing costs


A Discretionary Housing Payment is short term, temporary assistance with housing costs to allow time for the recipient to make alternative arrangements to ensure their housing costs are met in the long-term.
 

What types of shortfall can a Discretionary Housing Payment cover?

The various types of shortfalls that a DHP can cover include (but not limited to):

  • Reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit where the benefit cap has been applied;
  • Reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit following the removal of spare room subsidy for tenants of Registered Social Landlords;
  • Reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit as a result of local housing allowance restrictions;
  • Rent officer restrictions such as local reference rent or shared room rate;
  • Non-dependant deductions in HB, or housing cost contributions in Universal Credit;
  • Rent shortfalls to prevent a household becoming homeless whilst the housing authority explores alternative options;
  • Reductions due to income tapers;
  • Rent deposits or advance payments for a change of address, where the customer is yet to move and is entitled to Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit at the current address;
  • Help with a lump sum cost associated with moving home, where the customer is yet to move and is entitled to Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit at the current address;
 

What types of shortfall cannot be covered?

There are certain elements of a claimant’s rent that cannot be included in housing costs for the purposes of a Discretionary Housing Payment.

These include:

  • ineligible service charges
  • increases in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
  • certain sanctions and reductions in benefit.
 

How long will a Discretionary Housing Payment be granted for?

Awards are discretionary and can only be for a short period of time to enable the customer to seek further help or advice or, in some cases, alternative accommodation.
 

How much Discretionary Housing Payment will be awarded?

Awards are discretionary and each application for a Discretionary Housing Payment will be looked at individually. However, the level of the award must not exceed the weekly or monthly eligible rent on the home.

The Customer’s overall financial and personal circumstances will be taken into consideration.
 

How will the Discretionary Housing Payment be paid?

An award of Discretionary Housing Payment will be paid within the normal payment of Housing Benefit.

If the customer is receiving Universal Credit, then bank details must be provided so that a payment can be made to the customer’s bank account.
 

How do I claim a Discretionary Housing Payment?

You should complete the online Discretionary Housing Payment claim form .

Please give as much information as possible about your circumstances and why you need additional help with your housing costs.
 

Discretionary Housing Payment Claim Form

Discretionary Housing Payment Claim Form

Click here access the Discretionary Housing Payment Claim form.

 

 

Tameside Council Exchequer Services privacy notice:

 

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council Privacy Notice for Governance and Pensions

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council Privacy Notice for Governance and Pensions

 

 

 

What if I do not agree with the decision?

If you are unhappy with a decision we have made with regard to your request for a Discretionary Housing Payment, you can ask us to look at it again.

You must put the reasons why you are unhappy with the decision in writing to us. We will consider your reasons and will either tell you that

  • we agree with you and have changed our decision; or
  • that we are unable to change our decision


There is no right of appeal against a decision regarding a Discretionary Housing Payment.
 

Discretionary Housing Payments


Discretionary Housing Payments – Freedom of Information Requests

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Benefits Service must provide information held by, or on behalf of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council in respect of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP).  As we frequently receive requests for similar information, we have acknowledged the public need for the data.
In the table below, we have generated some reports, which may assist those seeking information. If you have any queries regarding the data, please contact: foi@tameside.gov.uk.

As the records the Council holds are subject to the Data Protection Act 1998, we will not provide data relating to individuals.  Where we consider the information to be exempt for any other reason, no records will be provided.
  
Request Description
1.DHP Total apps received Total number of DHP applications received for each of the following financial years; 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23
2. DHP Total apps awarded Total number of DHP applications awarded for each of the following financial years; 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23
3. DHP Total apps refused Total number of DHP applications refused for each of the following financial years; 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23
4.Total DHP expenditure Total expenditure on DHP’s for each of the following financial years; 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23
5.DHP’s split by purpose Total value of DHP’s granted split by purpose of payment
6.DHP’s split by tenure Total value of DHP’s granted split by tenure for financial years, 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23*
7.DHP split by age Total expenditure on DHP’s split by age ranges for each of the following financial years; 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23
8.DHP unspent Amount of DHP funding which was unspent at the end of the financial year for years; 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23
 
*Data prior to 2020/2021 is not available for this category
 



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