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Cardiff Council

Discretionary Housing Payments

​​​​​​​​Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are for people who either receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit which includes a housing element towards their rent but need extra help with rent or housing costs. 

We have a limited amount of money to make these payments and can only make payments to those in greatest need.


We can award DHP for various reasons including:


  • extra help for those starting work,
  • extra help for people affected by Size Restriction​ or the Benefit Cap,​
  • extra help for foster carers and people providing supported lodgings.


Extra help with rent

If your housing benefit does not cover all your rent, and you cannot afford to pay the difference, you may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment. 

We assess your circumstances to decide whether you are in financial need and have exceptional circumstances.


Financial Need

To confirm you cannot afford to pay the shortfall in rent we need to assess all income and capital you and your partner have.

This includes some income that is for special circumstances such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

We compare this total income with reasonable weekly expenses and work out whether or not you have enough money left to pay the rent shortfall.



Exceptional Circumstances

If we confirm you are in financial need we will then consider if you have exceptional circumstances.  

We look at your personal details and those of your family and will consider all the information you give us. 


How long can I claim Discretionary Housing Payments?

Discretionary Housing Payments to help with rent are normally only paid for a short period, for example 6 months. 

If you still need help after your payments end you will need to reapply.

If you want to find out more about claiming a DHP please contact us.

How to apply for Discretionary Housing Payments

Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (788kb PDF).

If you access this form using a Smartphone you will need to save the form to your device and complete it. 

For help to complete the form, or to pick up a paper copy to complete, visit​ your local Hub​​

You can upload your completed application form and evidence​, or email it to us at 

What happens next?​

You will need to provide the most recent 2 months bank statements for any bank, building society account or post office account that you hold. 

If you receive Universal Credit you will also need to provide your most recent statement which provides a full breakdown of how your Universal Credit has been calculated, and evidence of your rent. 

Your application cannot be considered without them.  

We need to assess your situation fully before we can award a Discretionary Housing Payment. 

When we have received a completed form and the evidence mentioned above, a member of our Money Advice Team will contact you to assess your financial needs and complete the application process.​

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