Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are extra payments made at our discretion to help you pay your rent and other housing costs.

To get a DHP you must:

  • Live in Gravesham
  • Be entitled to Housing Benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit
  • There is a shortfall between your rent and entitlement, and
  • Be able to prove financial need

In some circumstances, for example if you need to move home, we may be able to pay a DHP to cover a rent deposit or rent in advance.

If you are receiving, or are eligible to receive Universal Credit but do not get the housing costs element, you will not be able to get a DHP to help with rent in advance or deposit.

There are restrictions on how much money you can get in a financial year and payments are a short term measure for people experiencing difficult circumstances.

What DHP cannot be paid for?

  • Fuel, water or sewerage charges if these are included in your rent
  • Food charges for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Help with council tax
  • Rent increases due to outstanding arrears

How to apply

You can apply for a DHP using our online form.

Please give as much detail as possible in your answers.

What happens next

Each case is considered individually based on your circumstances. We will ask you for a lot of information and we may also ask you to come in to discuss your claim in more detail.

We will send you a letter telling you our decision and our reasons for that decision.

As payments are discretionary, there is no formal appeal process, but if you disagree with our decision, you can ask us to look at your application again. Read the DHP policy to find out how we award payments.

If we decide we cannot make the award

We will write to you and explain our decision.

How will we pay the DHP?

We will write and tell you how much you will be paid and how long you will receive it. The payment will be for a set time depending on the reason for the award.