Discretionary Housing Payments

An official statistics publication for Scotland.

The Discretionary Housing Payment (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 2019 to 30 September 2019, Local Authorities in Scotland made 99,910 awards under the DHP scheme, with a total value of £59.1 million and an average award of £592.

Local Authorities received 87,785 applications from 1 April to 30 September 2019. Each application – sometimes made in the previous financial year - can have multiple decisions attached to it. As a result, local authorities processed 103,785 determinations over the year.

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.


Read the full statistical publication.

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 from April 2019 to September 2019.

DHPs are devolved to the Scottish Government. DHPs are administered in Scotland by the 32 Scottish Local Authorities and may be awarded when a Local Authority considers that a housing benefit or Universal Credit 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 the benefit cap, the “bedroom tax” (RSRS) and reductions in the Local Housing Allowance.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland.


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