Discretionary Housing Payment Policy


Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP’s) were introduced in 2001 to allow those local authorities who have responsibility for the administration of Housing and Council Tax Benefit to award limited financial support to claimants in financial hardship in relation to their housing costs.

The legal powers are contained in the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001 (Statutory Instrument 2001/1167).

Each year the local authority is awarded a sum of money by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) specifically for DHP awards.

Housing costs usually means rental liability but can include rent in advance, deposits and other lump sum costs associated with a housing need such as removal costs.

Council Tax Benefit is abolished on 31 March 2013; DHP’s can no longer be awarded towards Council Tax liability as the replacement, Council Tax Reduction Discount is no longer a benefit.

Whilst the scheme allows the Council very broad discretion, Mansfield District Council is committed in its administration of the fund to act fairly, reasonably and consistently in accordance with the principles of good decision making.

 The main principles of the scheme as administered by the Council are:

  • The yearly funding is cash limited based on a ring fenced Central Government grant.
  • The scheme is discretionary.
  • There is no statutory right to a payment.
  • Applications will be considered individually on their own merit.
  • The level of payment will be decided by the Council, fairly, reasonably and consistently.
  • There is no statutory right of appeal although the Council operates a review process.
  • The DHP scheme in most cases should be seen as a short-term emergency fund.
  • The Council has the right to suspend, amend or cancel DHP’s as appropriate.