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Discretionary Housing Payment

A DHP helps pay rent not covered by other benefits. It’s managed by the Housing Executive.

This information is for people getting Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.

Applying for a DHP

You can:

You can apply online or call the Housing Executive for a paper application. It can be tricky and our advisers can help you with the application. The Housing Executive will decide if, how much, and how long you can get it for. 

Universal Credit claimants get a DHP for six months and Housing Benefit claimants get DHP until the end of the financial year. The Housing Executive will usually let you know on 31 March if you’ll keep getting your DHP. Your DHP will usually continue if your circumstances have not changed.

Getting help if your DHP award ends or reduces

You might be worried if you’ve recently got a letter to say your DHP award has ended or been reduced.

Contact us for advice if you’re worried about how this will affect you. We can talk you through your options to avoid falling behind on rent. 

Video: Getting extra help with rent with a DHP

Video transcript

If you’re claiming Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit and it’s not covering your full rent, you might be able to get extra help. 

It’s called a discretionary housing payment, or DHP, and it's paid by the Housing Executive. 

It’s not a loan so you don’t need to pay it back and it won’t affect your other benefits. 

You can get a DHP if your benefits don’t cover your full rent and you can’t make up the difference. 

Or if your situation changes. For example, if your landlord increases your rent. 

But only if you’re already getting housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit. 

We help lots of people to apply for DHPs. Get in touch if you need help. 

Or you can apply directly to the Housing Executive. 

They’ll want to know about your household, your benefits, where you live and why you need the extra payment. 

The amount you could get depends on your circumstances. 

There’s no guarantee you’ll get a payment, but it really is worth applying as you could get the extra money you need. 

Get in touch with Housing Rights for help with applying for a DHP. You can call, email or chat to an adviser online.    

Updating your DHP application

Ask the Housing Executive to increase your DHP if your situation and needs have changed, and you need more help.

You can ask for a review of the decision if you do not get a DHP.

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