Assessing and spending discretionary housing payments
This page is a snapshot of our discretionary housing payment (DHP) activity on 24 August 2018.
Our DHP grant from the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) in 2018/19 is £405,010. We are allowed to spend extra money on DHP, up to a total limit of two and a half times the DWP's grant:
- we have spent £184,869
- we have agreed future payments of £39,360
- we have spent and agreed future payments of £224,230
We have received 738 DHP applications in 2018/19:
- 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. We have received eight review applications so far in 2018/19:
- in two cases (25%), we changed our decision
- in six cases (75%), we did not change our decision
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%|
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 doesn't meet DHP policy criteria||19||13%|
|DHP would not sustain the tenancy (for instance, a landlord does not agree to stop 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%|
|Customer is not entitled to DHP because they do not get housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs||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||33%|
|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%|