Last updated: 23 August 2023

Next review: 23 August 2024

If you are having difficulty meeting your housing costs or Council Tax bill, the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme may be able to help.

You must be in receipt of Housing Benefit or getting help with your housing costs through Universal Credit to receive a DHP.

The DHP Scheme allows us to top up your housing-related benefit for a limited time to cover housing costs like rent, deposits and removals. Payment may be made on a regular basis or as a one-off payment, depending on the reason for your claim.

When you apply, you’ll be expected to show that you:

  • don’t have any other way to pay the shortfall in your housing costs
  • haven’t deliberately taken on a tenancy that you knew you couldn’t afford
  • are taking steps to improve the circumstances that led to the need to apply for DHP

Read the full details of our scheme in the Waltham Forest Discretionary Housing Payment and Discretionary Council Tax Hardship Scheme (PDF file).

How much do you get

The most we can pay is the difference between your housing-related benefit and your rent.

It is unlikely that any award will cover the entire shortfall. We expect people who are awarded a DHP to pay at least £10 a week towards the difference between their housing costs and their total benefit entitlement.

​Regular payments are generally paid to your landlord. One-off payments will be paid to your landlord or your landlord's agent. If we help you with removal costs we’ll seek to pay the removal company directly.

Apply for discretionary housing payment

It’s important that you provide as much information as possible when you make your claim as this can affect how much we can award you.

You’ll need to tell us:

  • Why you think you should get DHP
  • What your circumstances are
  • Any action you have taken to help yourself
  • Any other information you have to support your application

You’ll also need to:

  • Tell us your weekly income and spending
  • Provide bank statements for the last three months

Appealing a decision about DHP

If you don’t agree with our decision you can:

  • Ask for an explanation of how we made our decision or calculated your benefit
  • Ask us to look at our decision again

Claiming discretionary reductions for Council Tax

You can no longer claim a DHP for help with your Council Tax although you may be able to claim a discretionary reduction.

Please see Council tax discounts, exemptions and reductions for more details.

Contact information

Revenues and benefits service

London Borough of Waltham Forest
PO Box 856

E17 9PN