Councils offering support to tenants struggling with rent | Covid-19 hub: Coronavirus updates

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Councils offering support to tenants struggling with rent

If you’re struggling to pay your rent and other bills during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, your council may be able to assist you with a Discretionary Hardship Payment (DHP).

What is a Discretionary Hardship Payment?

A DHP is extra money provided to you by your local council if you’re struggling to make housing payments. You won’t have to repay this money.

How do I know if I can claim a Discretionary Hardship Payment?

To be eligible for the payment, you must already be claiming housing benefits or Universal Credit.

The government has also advised councils to provide the payment to those people who have been affected by welfare reforms including:

  • the benefit cap
  • removal of the spare room subsidy
  • changes to Local Housing Allowance rates.

How can I use the Discretionary Hardship Payment?

The DHP can be used in different ways, but is commonly spent on advance payments for rent, rent shortfalls or as a deposit for a new property.

You can’t use the DHP to pay your Council Tax, however you should check your council’s website as some local authorities do provide a Council Tax Support scheme.

Find out more about the DHP and how to apply for it at

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