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Discretionary Housing Payment scheme

Every year we are given a limited amount of money to provide extra help to people who are either having trouble paying their rent shortfall, or finding enough money to pay for start-up costs, such as rent deposits. This scheme is known as the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme.

DHPs are awarded at our discretion. They are only given as a short-term measure, to allow someone time to improve their finances, or to find more affordable accommodation. They are not intended to be relied upon long term.

Qualifying for a DHP

To qualify for a payment, you must meet these criteria:

  • for a rental shortfall payment, you must get Housing Benefit, or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit
  • for a rent arrears payment, you must have been getting Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit at the time you accrued the rent arrears 
  • for a rent deposit payment, you must get Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit

You must be able to show that you need extra help. You will have to send us evidence of your rent, income and expenses.

If you do not meet these criteria, please do not fill the form in.

Things you cannot claim for

  • ineligible service charges
  • reductions in Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance that have been made to recover an overpayment
  • rent in advance

Apply for DHP

To apply for DHP you must complete the online form.  If you need help to fill this in online visit our Benefits advice page.

Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment

Sending your evidence

You need to send all the evidence to support your claim to benefitsevidence@blackburn.gov.uk, quoting your claim reference number or national insurance number if you know it.

If you don't have access to email, you can post your evidence to the Revenues and Benefits Service, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Town Hall, Blackburn BB1 7DY.

Changes in circumstances

While you are receiving benefits, you must tell us if your circumstances or those of your household change. Reporting a change to another organisation, for example, the Department for Work and Pensions, or to another department in the council is not good enough.

Once you've submitted your application, we will decide if you qualify for additional help from the Discretionary Housing Payment. We will write to you to tell you our decision.