Additional help with housing costs and Council Tax
Discretionary Housing Payments and Council Tax Hardship Fund awards are payments awarded, by the Council, from a cash-limited fund, where severe, exceptional circumstances mean you need additional help with Housing costs.
Additional help with housing costs (rent)
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP's) do not cover the cost of ineligible services which are included in your rent such as fuel, meals etc. It is a temporary "top up" to the help you receive with either the Housing element of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, depending on which scheme you get help through. A discretionary payment is awarded by the Council regardless of which benefit you receive and is intended to help you through a difficult period, particularly financial hardship or exceptional circumstances. They are not intended as long-term payments. You must be eligible for some Housing Benefit or the Housing element of Universal Credit t before you can claim additional help with Housing costs from the DHP fund.
Additional help with Council Tax
The Council also has a discretionary hardship fund for additional help with your Council Tax if you are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction that is not the full amount of your Council Tax bill and you are experiencing exceptional hardship or circumstances. This is short-term help for the applicant only who would also be the liable person on the Council Tax bill.
How to apply
You can make a claim for help from the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) fund or the Council Tax Hardship (CTH) fund (or both) if:
- you currently get Housing Benefit or the Housing element of Universal Credit or in the case of a claim for CTH, Council Tax Reduction
- your Housing Benefit, or Housing element of Universal Credit or Council Tax Reduction is less than the full amount of you have to pay.
- the council is satisfied that you need more help with housing costs for example help to move to a cheaper property or rent in advance on a cheaper property.
- Please complete the form on the link on this page to claim. There is a separate form for DHP and CTH and you will need to complete both if you want to claim help from both schemes.
- If you need help to make a claim you can contact one of our Money Advisors on 01909 533744
How do we decide who gets additional help?
We look at things like:
- your total income and savings
- whether anyone else can help you financially
- any loans or debts you are repaying
- whether you could ease the situation yourself by re-arranging your outgoings
- whether you or anyone in your household has any special needs or health issues
- whether you are in arrears with rent and/or Council Tax
- You will be notified in writing if your claim has been successful and how it will be paid.