Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) support individuals on low incomes with housing costs. The Scottish Government provides funding to local authorities who deliver the grants and are responsible for managing the budget throughout the year.
To be eligible for DHP claimants must be in receipt of either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit with housing cost elements.
From April 2017, DHPs were devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government has provided funding to mitigate the removal of the spare room subsidy, also known as the Bedroom Tax.
The budget for DHPs is split into two parts.
The first is demand-led and dedicated to the mitigation of the bedroom tax. On 12 December 2018, we produced an updated forecast for the cost of bedroom tax mitigation.
The second is a discretionary fund for all other DHP claims. The Scottish Government has set the 2019-20 budget for the discretionary fund at £10.9 million. The Scottish Government has not informed us of any plans to change the level of funding for the discretionary fund over the forecast period. We present the Scottish Government's funding plans below. We do not assess the demand for the discretionary fund and whether the funding from the Scottish Government is reasonable.
Discretionary Housing Payments spend on bedroom tax mitigation forecast - December 2018
|Bedroom tax mitigation
Source: Scottish Fiscal Commission (2018) Scotland's Economic and Fiscal Forecasts December 2018
Scottish Government funding plans for other DHP spending - December 2018
Source: Scottish Fiscal Commission
Our report Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts for December 2018 contains further information on the methodology used in our forecast.
Scottish Fiscal Commission (2018) Scotland's Economic and Fiscal Forecasts May 2018
Scottish Fiscal Commission (2017) Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts December 2017
Scottish Government page on Discretionary Housing Payments
Scottish Government statistics on Discretionary Housing Payments
Welfare Reform (Further Provision) (Scotland) Act 2012 - Annual Report 2017
DWP Benefit expenditure and caseload tables (Spring Budget 2017)