Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

You can apply for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) if you need financial support to cover your housing costs.

Read the guidance below to check whether you're eligible.

Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment

Other ways to apply
  • send your documents to: Welfare Reform Team, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA
  • bring your evidence to the reception area at our offices and staff will scan it for you

Before you apply

You'll need to provide:

  • proof of the rent you pay
  • proof of your benefit entitlement
  • your bank statements for the last calendar month

These documents can be uploaded once you have completed the online application.

Who can apply

You can apply if:

  • you need help with housing costs, and
  • are currently claiming housing benefit or universal credit

What Discretionary Housing Payment covers

It can be used to help with:

  • reductions in:
    • housing benefit or universal credit where a benefit cap has been applied 
    • under-occupancy in the social rent sector. or
    • as a result of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rent restrictions
  • a rent shortfall to prevent a household from becoming homeless whilst the housing authority explores alternative options
  • rent officer restrictions such as 'local reference rent' or shared room rate

What Discretionary Housing Payment doesn't cover

It can't be used to cover costs that are not eligible for housing benefit, for instance:

  • ineligible service charges
  • increases in rent due to outstanding arrears
  • certain sanctions and reductions in benefit
  • a housing benefit or universal credit overpayment

Decision-making process

When considering applications, we take into account the following circumstances:

  • your or your partner's age and health
  • whether there are children in the household
  • the Council's duty to prevent homelessness
  • steps you have taken to alleviate the problem
  • income, capital levels and other necessary expenditure
  • special circumstances that make it difficult for you to move/live elsewhere
  • future job prospects
  • the amount of DHP funds available