Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs doesn't cover all of your rent and you are having difficulty paying the shortfall, you may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to help.

Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment online

Did you know that the City of Edinburgh Council Advice shop can provide the following assistance :

  • all aspects of welfare rights including income maximisation through welfare benefits, tax credits and grants
  • debt advice to resolve personal debt including credit cards, bank loans, rent arrears, personal loans, store cards, catalogues and mortgage arrears
  • help for people affected by cancer through information, advice and advocacy to access entitlements arising as a result of a cancer diagnosis and the extra costs of cancer.

Download the fact sheet and policy (PDFs)

What you can use a DHP for

A DHP can help, for example if you

  • are seeking more affordable accommodation and require assistance with a deposit, rent in advance or removal costs
  • are affected by the introduction of the benefit cap and are seeking employment
  • have been affected by previous Housing Benefit changes such as the extension of the Local Housing Allowance shared room rate to under 35s
  • have higher living costs because you are sick or disabled.


The award of a DHP is a discretionary decision and there is no statutory right to a payment. Each application will be treated strictly on its own merits.

We have a limited amount of money to provide this help, so any payment is likely to be for a short period only.