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Discretionary Housing Payments
What is a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)?
DHP is a fund to help people struggling to pay rent and meet their housing costs such as rent in advance, rent deposits or housing removal costs.
However this does not include service charges, or fuel charges such as gas and electricity, water rates or sewerage charges.
What can DHP help with?
If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit that involves a Housing element award but still need more help to pay your rent or housing costs, a DHP may be awarded to help with some of or all the shortfall, e.g. the difference between your housing benefit / Universal Credit award and the actual rent you pay.
Types of shortfall DHP can be used to help with:
- The benefit cap - how it will affect you
- Social sector size criteria
- Rent Officer Restrictions that make your maximum rent for Housing Benefit (HB) purposes lower than your actual rent.
- Local Housing Allowance restrictions, such as the maximum number of bedrooms your benefit can pay for.
- Where your income is above the level the Government says you need, but you are still struggling.
- Deposit/Removal costs.
What is not covered by DHP?
DHP can't be paid for the following:
- Service Charges
- Any rent arrears you already have prior to making an application.
- Any Benefit being claimed back that you already owe (a benefit Overpayment)
- Suspended Benefit
How do we decide if we can give you a DHP?
To give a full picture of your income, outgoings and personal circumstances you will need to complete a DHP Claim form. This will help us to look at your:
- Total household outgoings, (what you spend on bills, etc).
- Any savings
- Your health and any disabilities
- Anyone else in the household that could help
- If you could manage your money better
- If you have tried to put the situation right yourself
How much DHP will I get and for how long?
How much you get depends on your circumstances. Each case is decided individually on the information you give us, so it's important you tell us as much as possible about your financial situation. However this does not guarantee that an awarded of DHP will be made.
A DHP is usually paid for a limited period of time, depending on your circumstances. This will give you a little extra time to try to renegotiate a lower rent with your landlord, seek financial advice for existing debts, move to a more affordable property, find paid employment or increase your working hours.
If a DHP is awarded, written notification will be sent to you giving details of the award amount, how it will be paid, and the length of time we will pay it.
What happens if I don't agree with your decision?
If you disagree with our decision not to give you DHP, or with the amount, you can ask us to reconsider our decision within 1 calendar month of our decision letter to you, explaining why you do not agree with our decision. A different officer will review the decision.
You should write to:
Revenues and Benefits, Business Hub 16, Aberdeen City Council, Marischal College, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB
As this decision is discretionary you have no right to appeal and our final decision will stand.
How do I apply for DHP?
You can download and complete an application form by following the link below and return it to the following address:
Return by post to:
Revenues and Benefits
Business Hub 16
Aberdeen City Council
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