Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) have been devolved since April 2017 and provide support with their housing costs to people on low incomes. To be eligible for a payment, claimants must be in receipt of either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit with a housing costs element.

The Scottish Government provides funding to local authorities who administer the payments. The current 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 we forecast spending.

The second part is a discretionary fund for all other DHP claims. The Scottish Government has set this budget for this at £10.9 million in 2022-23.

The Scottish Government has also committed to fund mitigation of Benefit Cap deductions through DHPs, starting this year. Our forecast now includes our estimate of how much this will cost. We assume this will be based on a similar funding model as Bedroom Tax mitigation, with around £3 million that councils currently report spending on Benefit Cap mitigation moved out of the ‘other DHPs’ budget.

Forecast spending for Discretionary Housing Payments
£ million 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26 2026-27 2027-28
Bedroom Tax mitigation 63 66 68 70 72 74 78 82
Benefit Cap Mitigation 4 14 18 21 23 25
Other DHPs 19 11 11 8 8 8 8 8
Total 81 76 83 91 98 103 109 115