Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) provide extra money when you need help to meet your housing costs.

We offer a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to provide extra help with housing costs.  If you are already receive Housing Benefit, or the Housing Element of Universal Credit and this does not cover your rent and you are in financial hardship, you can apply.

Discretionary Hardship Support Policy (PDF, 839.24KB)

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) provide extra money when you need help to meet your housing costs. It is a scheme intended to ease financial hardship. DHP is for residents who face a variety of financial difficulties. DHP helps with housing costs on a short term and temporary basis and gives residents time to find alternative solutions. There will be exceptional cases where a DHP is required in the long term; however, it should not be seen as a permanent solution.

DHP is not a benefit and the Council has a limited amount of money each year for those who need extra financial help. You do not have a statutory right to receive a payment. 

You must make a formal claim for DHP before we can consider making an award.

We’ll look at your circumstances and decide whether your eligible. Circumstances we will consider are issues such as:

  • if you’re in danger of eviction and homelessness
  • you’re undergoing life changing circumstances that significantly affect your household
  • you or a household member have significant health problems which could increase living costs
  • your Housing Benefit of Universal Credit award has been reduced by the benefit cap

Rent in advance, deposits and moving costs

A DHP may be awarded for rent in advance, a deposit and/or moving costs to support residents to move to more sustainable accommodation. This is to help prevent homelessness but we will consider whether the new property is appropriate and affordable.

Where this is the case we will need to check if you:

  • are due to have a deposit or rent in advance in respect of your existing tenancy returned to you
  • have been refused assistance from the Council through a rent deposit guarantee scheme or similar

How to claim a DHP

To apply for a DHP, an online application must be completed (paper forms available on request). You must tell us on the claim form why you think you need extra help and what you are applying for a DHP for.

Supporting evidence will be required. Please see the evidence checklist in the application form

The council have launched one online application form for all current discretionary funding schemes (paper forms are available upon request).

The Council Welfare service currently administers and operates four discretionary funding schemes:

  • Discretionary Council Tax Relief Scheme (DCTR)
  • Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)
  • Individual Assistance Payment (IAP) (Local Hardship)
  • Household Support Fund (HSF).

Applications received will be considered for all eligible funding. The online application form can also be treated as a claim for Council Tax Support and Free School Meals where there is eligibility and entitlement unless you do not wish to receive these additional benefits.

Apply for Discretionary Hardship Support

If you disagree with our DHP decision

There is no right of appeal against a DHP decision. You can however ask us to look at the decision again. If your circumstances change, you can reapply. There is no limit on how many times you can claim a DHP.

Discretionary Housing Payments guidance (PDF, 170KB)

Housing Benefit

Revenues and Benefits, Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking, IG11 7LU

020 8227 2970


Please note this office is not open for enquiries or document drop off and original documents should not be sent by post to us.

Personal information

The personal information we collect from you will be shared with fraud prevention agencies who will use it to prevent fraud and money-laundering and to verify your identity. If fraud is detected, you could be refused certain services, finance, or employment. Further details of how your information will be used by us and these fraud prevention agencies, and your data protection rights, can be found on the Cifas website.