Scottish Discretionary Housing Payment: guidance manual

Discretionary Housing Payment guidance manual for local authorities in Scotland, for use from 1 April 2024, issued by Scottish Ministers.

Section 9: Publicising DHPs

27. Raising awareness of DHP support

27.1 It is important to publicise the existence of DHPs. They are a key element of the government’s support for housing costs and are the main method of supporting people affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy and benefit cap.

27.2 We recommend that LAs point to the availability of DHPs when contacting individuals who are due to be potentially affected by a particular deduction or shortfall.

27.3 To raise awareness of DHPs, within available resources, an LA may wish to consider:

  • including information on all HB decision notices where there is a shortfall
  • leaflets and posters
  • giving advice on DHPs when people contact your LA to discuss a claim
  • proactively assisting vulnerable individuals to make applications by, for example, visiting them in their own homes
  • ensuring that domestic abuse victims who are trying to move to a place of safety through contact with external welfare organisations and refuges are supported
  • informing external and internal bodies that give advice (money advice, welfare rights, homelessness, housing, etc.) of the existence of DHPs
  • establishing and maintaining links to ensure awareness of the scheme among staff working in housing options, homelessness and adult and children’s services
  • including DHP advice as part of general welfare advice services
  • for applicants to the Scottish Welfare Fund, consider if the reason for the application is housing cost-related and refer as appropriate
  • making landlords aware of the scheme (private landlords, housing associations and registered providers)
  • establishing links with social housing tenants and resident’s organisations to ask them to help raise awareness of the scheme
  • raising awareness by having information of the scheme available at tenants and residents’ forums
  • including clear DHP eligibility requirements, application and appeal information on your LA website, ensuring it is visible and easily accessible to both HB and UC claimants
  • information on Choice Based Lettings scheme websites
  • information within literature or communications relevant to housing allocations policies or placements
  • raise awareness through interviews with local radio, including stations targeting different ethnic groups
  • targeted communications aimed at those likely to be affected by telephone, text message or social media



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