Discretionary Housing Payment

If you’re receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but still need help paying rent, you may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment. If you are receiving Universal Credit you must be getting help with your housing costs in order to be able to apply for discretionary housing payment.

A Discretionary Housing Payment might be given to cover a rent deposit, benefit cap or if you have a spare bedroom, rent in advance or removal expenses (if you have a valid reason to move).

The amount awarded is entirely at the discretion of the council. Each individual case will be considered on its own merits. We will look at the individual circumstances of your claim and will consider the other options available to you before deciding whether to award a discretionary housing payment.

The amount we can spend is limited and not everyone who claims will be given assistance

Claim a Discretionary Housing Payment (PDF 100KB)

Discretionary Housing Payment policy

Some examples of why a Discretionary Housing Payment might be paid (there may be reasons not listed):

  • someone in the household has needs associated with disability or ill health
  • the accommodation has been adapted because of disability
  • someone in the household has a relevant medical need
  • it is not possible or practical for someone to look for alternative accommodation

A Discretionary Housing Payment will not be paid for the following:

  • water, meals, fuel or other ineligible charges included in your rent
  • shortfall in housing benefit due to an overpayment being recovered
  • rent that is clearly excessive
  • increase in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
  • shortfall caused by certain sanctions and reductions in benefit

Benefit and debt advice

If you need a discretionary housing payment, you may benefit by seeking further advice to see how you can maximise your income and save money on bills. There are a range of advice agencies in Camden that provide independent advice.