Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) support individuals on low incomes with their housing costs. The Scottish Government provides funding to local authorities, who administer the payments and are responsible for managing the budget throughout the year.

To be eligible for a DHP claimants must be in receipt of either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit with a housing cost element.

Discretionary Housing Payments have been devolved since April 2017. The budget is split into two parts.

The first is demand-led and dedicated to the mitigation of the bedroom tax. The Scottish Government funds all of these payments and our forecast shows how much this is expected to cost.

The second part is a discretionary fund for all other DHP claims. The Scottish Government has set the 2020-21 budget for the discretionary fund at £12.9 million. This budget is split between the local authorities at the start of the year. We assume this budget will be fixed over the forecast period and do not assess whether the funding level is reasonable.

Forecast spending for Discretionary Housing Payments – February 2020

£ million 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25
Bedroom Tax mitigation 53 56 60 63 65 68 70
Other DHPs 9.1 10.9 12.9 12.9 12.9 12.9 12.9
Total 62 67 73 76 78 81 83

Find out more in our Analytical Papers series, including our Occasional Papers and Forecast Evaluation Reports.

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Or read our latest Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts report.

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