A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is an extra payment made by the local council to help pay housing costs. A DHP does not need to be paid back and must be applied for and assessed before being awarded.
This year, the Money Solutions Team at CCHA has made a total of 353 applications for DHP on behalf of tenants with high rent arrears. As of April 6, successful applications amounting to £409,757.65 was awarded to CCHA tenants to support the reduction in their rent arrears.
Tenants who have received help from DHP have said:
“I don’t know how to thank you; I have been so worried about my rent arrears and trying my best to stay afloat. You’ve made my family’s year”.
“This has given me a chance to get back on my feet, I’m so grateful”.
“I can’t believe it – you’ve gone the extra mile to help me, and I feel like a weight has been lifted.”
One tenant who has benefitted from the DHP is a single male who had found himself in severe rent arrears, that had reached £10,300.00 by January 23, 2023. Donna Simms, the Money Team Lead, says:
“We were struggling to contact the tenant despite all attempts to discuss rent arrears and health and safety checks in the property. We were at the point of making considerations for a court hearing, which would have placed the property and tenancy at risk.
“Following an application for DHP made to the Welfare Reform Team at Cardiff Council, to support the clearance of the arrears and prevent homelessness, we were successful in receiving a total of £9,663.48 to dramatically reduce the arrears and prevent legal action.
We continued to try and engage with the tenant to tell him the news and to also ensure his wellbeing in the property. Our safer communities team went to the property and after persistent attempts, Luisa was able to encourage the tenant to open the door.
The news was delivered to the tenant that we had supported him to almost clear his rent arrears and he completely broke down in tears, thanking us for helping him and saying he was so afraid we were there to evict him. We learned that the tenant was suffering from ill mental health and had not been able to engage with us due to fear. We are now working with him alongside the employability team to encourage ongoing engagement, and to support the tenant to improve his situation.”
At the time of writing, we are still waiting to hear back from a total of 29 applications, which would bring in another £39k in rent arrears if approved.