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Discretionary housing payments

You can apply for a discretionary housing payment if you need further financial assistance to help meet your rent, provided that you are already entitled to some Housing Benefit or housing costs element of Universal Credit.

A discretionary housing payment can be requested for any reason that makes it difficult for you to meet your rent. There is no guarantee that all applications will be successful. 

Discretionary housing payments are paid from a cash-limited budget allocated to the Council by the Secretary of State. 

For this reason, the Council will usually give preference to applications where there are exceptional circumstances.

How to apply for a discretionary housing payment

To apply for a discretionary housing payment you must complete the application form and submit it with the following supporting documents by email to

Please make sure you quote your claim reference number if you have one, one all correspondence.

Documents needed to claim for DHP for rent in advance:

  • Completed discretionary housing payment application form (PDF). Please state both your current and your proposed address
  • Most recent two months' bank statements for all accounts held
  • Letter from your landlord confirming the amount needed
  • Proof of housing cost element of Universal Credit

To improve your likelihood of success, we recommended that:

  • you explain why you need to move
  • you will be able to afford the rent at the new property 
  • what steps you have made to save up the money needed yourself

Documents needed to claim for DHP for a rent shortfall:

DHP is not a permanent solution to any shortfall, you will be more likely to be successful if you can suggest a longer term solution such as moving to smaller, cheaper accommodation or finding work

If you cannot email the form and supporting documents you can scan them using our self service scan stations at the Customer Service Centre, Horne Lane Bedford (opposite Argos). 

You can also pick up an application from us at the Customer Service Centre.