Discretionary Housing Payment

Most frequent questions and answers

DHPs are designed to provide short-term financial support to customers who are already getting housing benefit or the housing costs within Universal Credit, and need extra help with their rent. The DHP fund is limited so we will not always be able to help you.

You can only be considered for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) from Barnet if you live in the London Borough of Barnet, or are living in temporary accommodation provided by Barnet. If you reside outside of the borough and do not live in temporary accommodation provided by Barnet, please approach your local authority for assistance.


In order to apply for discretionary housing payments you must:

  • Be entitled to housing benefit or receive housing costs within your universal credit and
  • Have a liability to pay rent and
  • Demonstrate that you require further assistance in order to meet your housing costs (please note: a DHP cannot be paid to help with water or service charges for things like heating or lighting)

Discretionary Housing Payments can be applied for a

  • shortfall in your rent
  • rent arrears,
  • rent deposit or advance to move to a cheaper sustainable accommodation
  • Removal costs.

DHPs are unlikely to be awarded if the property is above the local housing allowance or are unsustainable due to them being unaffordable.  

DHPs cannot be paid for a shortfall or arrears which are a result of overpayments of benefits.

They can not be used to pay for a previous address/tenancy arrears.

DHPs for

  • Rent shortfalls are short-term and can be paid for a few months or longer depending on your circumstances.
  • Rent arrears are paid as lump sum payments to either clear part or all of your rent arrears – they are usually paid to your landlord to sustain your tenancy.
  • Rent deposits and rent advances would be a maximum of one months rent and one months advance if you live in private rented accommodation, and one week if you are moving to a housing association property, they are paid direct to the landlord.
  • Removal costs you will need to get three quotes and they will pay the cheapest unless there is an issue with the company or arrangement, they are paid direct to the removal company.


If you claim housing benefit, DHPs for a rent shortfall are paid with your housing benefit payments. If you are on Universal Credit, the DHPs are made separately from your Universal Credit payments but they will be made on or around the same time you are paid by Universal Credit each month.


You will need to submit your completed application with the following information:

  • Last 2 months bank statements for all accounts
  • Proof of rent (ie tenancy agreement, or letter from landlord if the agreement is out of date, and an up-to-date rent statement from your landlord from when your arrears started)
  • Proof of income (e.g. your Universal Credit award including the breakdown of the entitlement from when your arrears started)
  • Evidence of any steps you are taking to improve your financial circumstances (e.g. looking for work, getting support to manage your debts, looking to move to more affordable accommodation, applying for disability benefits to maximise your income)
  • In addition:
    • For removal costs, please provide three quotes from different removal companies, which are specifically for your move (and that these companies are aware that a payment would be made after the removals have happened after they issue an invoice (if your application is successful))

For deposit and/or rent in advance for a new property, please provide a tenancy agreement stating how much the rent, deposit and/or rent in advance is along with an email or letter from the prospective landlord stating that they need the deposit or advance paid upfront (they will need to provide their contact details and bank account details too).