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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.

The Council has a 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.
 

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.
 

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Exchequer Services
Tameside MBC
PO Box 304
Ashton-under-Lyne
Tameside
OL6 0GA
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0161 342 3708
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0161 342 2012
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