When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Getting extra help with your housing costs

You may be able to get some extra financial help if you are getting the housing costs element of Universal Credit but you are still struggling with your housing costs.

Discretionary Housing Payments for Universal Credit claimants

A Discretionary Housing Payment is extra money that can be given to private tenants who are receiving help to pay their rent.

As this is a “discretionary” award, rather than a social security benefit, you don’t have a right to receive this extra money. You apply for it and the Housing Executive decides if you should get a payment, how much you should get, and how long you will receive it for.

Applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment

The easiest way to apply for this help if you get Universal Credit is to apply online, but you can also phone NIHE to request a paper application form. The Housing Executive can award you a Discretionary Housing Payment if you are a private tenant who gets the housing costs element of Universal Credit and the amount you get for your housing costs is less than what you have to pay your landlord.

How long will the payment last?

The Housing Executive will usually make a Discretionary Housing Payment for a maximum of four months. Once your payment expires, you can apply again.