Assessing and spending discretionary housing payments
This page is a snapshot of our discretionary housing payment (DHP) activity taken on 5 December 2017. We update this page monthly.
Our DHP grant from the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) for 2017/18 is £509,495.
- We have spent £374,720
- We have agreed future payments of £59,560
- We have spent and agreed future payments of £434,280
- Changes to the benefit cap in November and December last year mean that 225 households in Oxford are now losing an average of £62 a week from their housing benefit
We have made decisions on 567 DHP applications in 2017/18.
- 457 applications were successful (81%)
- 110 applications were unsuccessful (19%)
A review happens when a customer is not happy with our decision and asks us to look at it again.
- 2 applications were successful, and we changed our decision (25%)
- 6 applications were unsuccessful, and we upheld our decision (75%)
- 22 DHP applications are waiting for a decision
- Of these, 10 have not yet been allocated to a caseworker for a decision
- The oldest DHP application which has not been allocated to a caseworker was received on 23 November
- 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||109||15%|
|Engage with a support service||88||12%|
|Prepare for work||84||12%|
|Get debt advice||69||10%|
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||%|
|DHP would not sustain the tenancy (for example, the landlord will not agree to stop an eviction)||15||14%|
|Application does not meet our DHP policy criteria||14||13%|
|Housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs pay the rent in full||12||11%|
|Not entitled to a DHP as not in receipt of housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs element||10||9%|
|Housing benefit or Universal Credit housing cost shortfall is due to other income e.g. earnings from work||9||8%|
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)||138||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||192||46%|
|Customer affected by bedroom tax||78||19%|
|Local housing allowance restrictions||112||27%|
|Combination of welfare reforms||0||0%|
|Other reasons not related to welfare reform (eg non dependant deductions)||36||9%|