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  4. Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments

In some circumstances we can give people suffering exceptional hardship an extra payment called Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to help with housing costs.

To claim you must be receiving Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. 

You will need to prove that you are suffering from financial hardship due to a shortfall in your benefits. You may have a shortfall because of: 

  • Housing Benefit restrictions under the maximum rent rules
  • a non-dependant within the household
  • household income
  • single room rent rates affecting under 35s

Discretionary Housing Payments cannot cover:

  • water rates
  • tenants levy
  • service charges (for example, heating and hot water)

Applying for Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments are not a benefit payment. They are awarded on a case-by-case basis for help with housing costs.

Awards are usually made for a short term period to help you through a specific financial crisis. In certain limited circumstances, such as where your property has been extensively adapted to cater for a disability, longer awards may be considered.

Complete the online form to apply, you will need a list of your income and expenses.

Apply for Discretionary Housing Payments

If you cannot apply online for any reason, contact the benefit team on 01594 812531 or email to request assistance.

Check you have provided the evidence requested (either on the online form or by the benefit team) as your application cannot be processed without it.

When your application has been assessed, we will let you know our decision. You cannot appeal against it as our awards are at our discretion, you can ask us to reconsider our decision.

Forest of Dean District Council is the Data Controller for the purposes of Data Protection Legislation. We will only use your personal information in accordance with the Legislation and for the purposes of Discretionary Housing Payment. We will not give information about you to anyone else, or use information about you for other purposes, unless the law allows us to.

If your circumstances change

If there has been a change to your circumstances since DHP was awarded, you are responsible for telling us as soon as possible to stop any overpayments.