Discretionary Housing Payments

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The DHP scheme provides financial assistance towards housing costs for those claiming housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit. Statistics released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show that during the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, Local Authorities in Scotland spent £62.5 million under the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) Scheme.

Local Authorities received 116,618 applications to the scheme in 2018/19. Each application – sometimes made in the previous financial year - can have multiple decisions and awards attached to it. As a result, local authorities processed 132,961 determinations over the year and made 125,161 awards. The average award value was around £500.

These figures are likely to include a sizeable number of cases affected by the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (RSRS) (the “bedroom tax”), where Local Authorities have continued to make up the shortfall in tenants’ weekly rent through the use of DHPs. The Scottish Government is committed to reimbursing Local Authorities for the impact of the RSRS.


The full statistical publication is available at:


This publication contains information on the number of applications for DHPs, determinations, awards and the total value of awards spent or committed in each Local Authority. Local Authorities were asked to provide figures on the total value of awards spent through to the end of the financial year, April 2018 to March 2019.

DHPs are reserved to the Scottish Government. DHPs are administered in Scotland by the 32 Scottish LAs and may be awarded when an LA considers that a housing benefit claimant requires further financial assistance towards housing costs.

DHPs can be used to provide support to claimants affected by some of the key welfare reforms, including the introduction of benefit cap, the removal of the “bedroom tax” (RSRS) and reductions in Local Housing Allowance.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About


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