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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Discretionary housing payments

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Discretionary Housing Payments are payments to help people with their housing costs when their Housing Benefit payments still leave them struggling to pay their rent.

Payments are in addition to Housing Benefit - you must be getting Housing Benefit or Universal Credit which includes an element for Housing costs towards a rental liability to apply.  However, we cannot help with all rent payments, for instance if meals, heating, lighting, hot water or water rates are included. 

When we look at an application for a discretionary housing payment we will look at:

  • Can you afford to pay the shortfall between the benefit and the rent?
  • Are you taking steps to improve the situation?
  • Is it reasonable to expect you to move? Or would a payment help you to move?

We will then prioritise payments to people in priority groups, for example:

  • Disabled people and vulnerable adults
  • Foster carers
  • Families where a payment will help safeguard children
  • Where there have been emergency circumstances
  • Families affected by the Benefits Cap
  • Short term cases - where a change in circumstances is expected which will mean that the rent is then affordable

Each case will be treated strictly on its merits and all claimants will be treated equally and fairly.