Help with housing
15th August 2022
Financial housing support
You may qualify for help with rent through the benefits system. Anyone can claim benefits – including homeowners and private tenants.
Discretionary housing payment
If your rent is not met in full by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and you have a temporary situation which makes it difficult to pay your rent, you can apply for extra help in the form of discretionary housing payments (DHP).
Anyone can apply for a DHP, including homes owners and private tenants, but you have to already be a recipient of benefits to be eligible.
Risk of homelessness
If you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless, contact the Housing Inclusion team as soon as you can. You can often avoid becoming homeless if you act quickly and get the right help.
Ways we can help prevent you from becoming homeless include:
- helping you avoid being evicted by a private landlord
- negotiating with your lender if you’re a homeowner
- advising you on finding somewhere else to live
Help with council tax
You could be entitled to a reduction of your council tax bill, for example, if you are on a low income, live alone or share your home with someone who is not your partner and who cannot help you pay rent or council tax.
Council tax discount – people in detention
Discounts will be given to some eligible detainees; however, this discount will not apply if a person is in police custody before their first court appearance or if they are detained for non-payment of council tax or a fine.
Breathing Space – help with rent or mortgage arrears
To access Breathing Space, you need to speak to a debt advisor. The scheme can help people struggling with debt, including rent or mortgage arrears. Support includes freezing payment demands and legal action while you get free debt advice.
It could also stop or delay eviction for rent arrears or mortgage repossession whilst you are seeking help. It is sometimes called the debt respite scheme.
How to deal with mortgage arrears
Shelter has shared advice on how to deal with mortgage arrears. This includes steps on how to increase your income, reduce your outgoings and how to set up an agreement plan with your lender should you need to go down this route.
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