If you have a tenant on Housing Benefit, struggling with a shortfall between their rent and their benefit entitlement, or someone wants to move into one of your properties but is struggling to find a deposit or removal costs, the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme might be able to help.
This is a fund of money separate from Housing Benefit HB) that can be used for different housing costs. You do need to be already claiming HB before you can get help with DHP and each application is decided on merit on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes though, it can make the difference between staying in or keeping a home and not having a home at all.
DHP can help with three specific things:
- A shortfall between the amount of HB that someone receives and the amount of rent they are actually charged by their landlord. There’s a long list of different situations which can cause this sort of shortfall and DHP can be applied for to cover just about any of these. (Although there are some exceptions including any shortfall caused by an overpayment recovery).
- The cost of a deposit at the start of a tenancy, obviously this can be a major issue for many benefit tenants who would struggle to raise the money needed. If a DHP is awarded for a deposit, the money is paid direct to the landlord.
- Help with moving costs within Sandwell
Tenants can make an application for Discretionary Housing Payment online.