Assessing and spending discretionary housing payments
This page is a snapshot of our discretionary housing payment (DHP) activity taken on 2 March 2018. We update this page monthly.
Our DHP grant from the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) for 2017/18 is £509,495.
- We have spent £489,981
- We have agreed future payments of £31,876
- We have spent and agreed future payments of £521,857
- This means we have spent £12,362 more than our DWP grant
- Changes to the benefit cap in November and December 2016 mean that 220 households in Oxford are now losing an average of £61.62 a week from their housing benefit
We have made decisions on 738 DHP applications in 2017/18.
- 593 applications were successful (80%)
- 145 applications were unsuccessful (20%)
A review happens when a customer is not happy with our decision and asks us to look at it again.
- 4 applications were successful, and we changed our decision (403%)
- 6 applications were unsuccessful, and we upheld our decision (60%)
- 25 DHP applications are waiting for a decision
- Of these, 1 is waiting to be allocated to a caseworker for a decision, and this was received on 1 March
- No review applications were waiting for a decision
- See the Welfare Reform Team homepage for more information about how long we are taking to make decisions on DHP applications and reviews
Conditions of DHP awards
As part of their DHP award, we agree with our customers what they can do to improve their financial situation so that they do not need our help in future. We also arrange the support they need to do this. This could include help to find work or to deal with their debts.
|Top 5 conditions of DHP awards||Applications||%|
|Apply for another benefit||140||15%|
|Engage with a support service||104||11%|
|Prepare for work||102||11%|
|Get debt advice||86||9%|
Reasons for refusing DHP
Usually, the most common reason we turn down DHP applications is because customers don’t have a plan to improve their situation. We make very few DHP awards where customers don’t need to do anything as part of their DHP agreement.
|Top 5 reasons for refusing DHP||Applications||%|
|Application does not meet our DHP policy criteria||19||13%|
|DHP would not sustain the tenancy (for example, the landlord will not agree to stop an eviction)||17||12%|
|Housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs pay the rent in full||16||11%|
|Customer has no long term plan to reduce their reliance on DHP||13||9%|
|Not entitled to a DHP as not in receipt of housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs element||13||9%|
Tenants who apply for DHP
Oxford is one of the most unaffordable places in England to rent from a private landlord. High rents mean that private tenants are likely to face the benefit cap or other housing benefit shortfalls.
|Private rented (not Home Choice)||165||33%|
Why tenants apply for DHP
Customers apply for DHP because their housing benefit (or housing element of Universal Credit) doesn't cover their full rent in full. We look at why this is the case.
|Reason for application||Applications||%|
|Customer affected by benefit cap||216||43%|
|Customer affected by bedroom tax||104||21%|
|Local housing allowance restrictions||137||27%|
|Combination of welfare reforms||1||0%|
|Other reasons not related to welfare reform (eg non dependant deductions)||49||10%|