Housing benefit is a social security benefit which helps people on low income with their housing costs. It can cover rent, rates and some service charges. There are different systems for working out housing benefit for social tenants, who rent from the Housing Executive or housing associations, and for private tenants, who rent from a private landlord or agent.
Please note, housing benefit is currently in the process of being replaced by Universal Credit. If you're making a fresh claim, you may need to apply for Universal Credit instead.