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Discretionary Housing Payment

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Discretionary Housing Payment

A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is a short term payment awarded to people who need help paying their rent.

To claim a Discretionary Housing Payment you must be entitled to:

  • Housing Benefit; or
  • receive a Housing Cost Element as part of your Universal Credit award.

You must also show that you are unable to pay your rent.

Fife Council has limited funds for DHP, so awards are payable for a period 6 or 12 months, depending on your circumstances.

If you are affected by the spare room subsidy (bedroom tax) the full shortfall in your rent caused by this will be met if you apply.

Here are a few examples of circumstances where DHP may be awarded:

  • You are affected by the shared room rate as you are under 35
  • The local housing allowance (LHA) rate does not cover the cost of your rent.
  • You are not entitled to full Housing Benefit/or your Universal Credit housing cost element does not cover your full rent charge.
  • You have higher living costs because you are sick or disabled.

From January 2023, DHP can cover any shortfall in your rent caused by the Benefit Cap being applied to either your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.  You are still required to complete an application.

How to claim

The application form asks you to provide:

  • evidence of your expenses; and
  • asks you to explain why you can't afford your rent (e.g. a large increase in your rent charge).

We may write to you for further information. Once we receive this we'll make a decision on your application.