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Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is not a benefit – it is an emergency payment.  The budget is limited and set by the Government.  The Council has to ensure that it reaches those who are most in need. 


This means that even though you might be facing difficulties there may be others applying who need more support and therefore you may not be successful at being awarded a DHP. DHPs are usually paid for a short time to help you get more long term help such as debt advice or to assist you with a change in your circumstances such as moving to a smaller/cheaper property. 


The Council cannot guarantee long term DHP support as the budget is set by central Government on a year-by-year basis and the number of applications the council receives each year varies.


You can apply for DHP if:

  • you have a shortfall between the amount of Housing Benefit awarded to you and the amount of rent that you pay. 
  • you are a Universal Credit claimant and the amount of the housing element is less than your rent

Please be aware that you must be receiving Housing Benefit or housing costs through Universal Credit in order to apply for DHP

What DHP can be used for

  • reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit where the benefit cap has been applied
  • reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit following the removal of spare room subsidy in the social rented sector
  • reductions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit as a result of local housing allowance restrictions
  • rent officer restrictions
  • non-dependant deductions in Housing Benefit, or housing cost contributions in Universal Credit
  • rent shortfalls to prevent a household becoming homeless whilst the housing authority explores alternative options
  • reductions due to your income


We will also consider:

  • Rent deposits and rent in advance – for a property you are moving to
  • Help with removal costs


To qualify for this you must be:

  • Currently receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit at your present home
  • Demonstrate that there are no alternative arrangements you can make
  • The amount is reasonable – we may do our own comparison with removal companies

Please note, deposits and removal costs are paid direct to the new landlord or removal company. You will need to provide their BACS details and for removal costs, you will also need to provide at least three quotes.


Please note: You cannot get DHP for: Service charges that are not eligible for Housing Benefit, Rent arrears and any increases in rent due to rent arrears, Sanctions and reductions in  benefit, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit overpayments and any shortfalls caused by recovery or Council Tax.


Apply for DHP


You will need to complete a DHP form and return to us at:

Vale of Glamorgan Benefits Department, Civic Offices, Holton Road, Barry, CF63 4RU



If you email your completed form, you will need to make sure it has been signed before sending it to us.


If you are filling out the form for someone else, please make sure this is confirmed on the form. The DHP form will also need to be in the name of the main claimant.


You can download and print out the form below:

DHP form


Alternatively, you can ring us on 01446 709244, email, or call in person to the Benefits counter at the Civic Offices, Holton Road, BarryCF63 4RU to request a form.


We will ask you questions about your situation. This helps us to form a picture of your circumstances.  We will ask about:

  • Your household circumstances
  • The income you have coming into your household, including any income and contributions from other people who live with you
  • Any savings you have
  • Your outgoings – these will be items you spend money on each week EG:- bills, food, household expenses, travelling, debts and other expenses you may have.


  • What can you do to help yourself?
    DHP awards are a short term solution as they are from a fund.  They are nearly always awarded for any period from a few weeks but can be awarded up to 12 months to give you time to look for longer term solutions. There are exceptions and each application is looked at individually giving discretion to your circumstances.


    What kind of action could you take to make up the short-fall between HB and your rent? Suggestions include:

     - Start work or work more hours

     - Cut spending on things that you would consider non-essential.

     - Move to a smaller/cheaper property with your current landlord.

     - Move to a smaller/cheaper property with a different landlord.

     - Rent out a room.

     - Ensure other adults in your home are contributing fairly

  • Can I appeal against the decision?

    Yes, you can ask for a reconsideration of the decision.  This will need to be made in writing and received within a calendar month of the date on the decision letter. 


    You will need to provide reasons why you feel the decision needs to be looked at again.  We may ask for more supporting information such as bills, receipts, and letters to support your request.  We may also ask about other expenses such as details of any support you receive or extra items of household products or personal items you may need as a result of a disability.  We ask for a lot of information because we need to have a good picture of your financial situation and your circumstances.


    If you are still unsuccessful you can appeal against the decision.  Appeals must be made in writing within a calendar month from the date on the revision letter.  Your appeal will then be heard in front of a panel



Finances, Budgeting and Debt Advice

If you are experiencing financial hardship due to debt there are organisations that can advise you about managing your finances, debts and creditors. 


Barry and the Vale Citizens Advice Bureau 

Advice on either how to manage your debt or where you can get help to manage and budget for your debt and other benefits that you may be able to claim.

  • 0845 120 3756


Vale of Glamorgan Money Advice team

  • 01446 709512 / 01446 709513



Step Change

Debt charity offering free and impartial debt advice.

  • 0800 138 1111




MIND is a charity in the Vale of Glamorgan working with and for people with mental health problems.

  • Barry: 01446730792 - Tynewydd Road 
  • Penarth: 02920350330 - 56 Windsor Road, CF64 1JJ
  • Llantwit Major: 01446730792 - 29 Crawshay Drive, Llantwit Major



Cardiff and Vale Credit Union

Cardiff & Vale Credit Union is a local community organisation offering savings and loans.



Discretionary Assistance Fund

Is a fund set up to assist you with any housing costs you may have outside those supported by the discretionary housing payment fund.  These may include help towards furniture if you have recently moved. 

  • 0800 8595924 / 03301 015000