Help with housing costs

There are various support schemes which may be available to help cover your housing costs. Some of the financial assistance we can provide is detailed below. If you're still not sure what you might be entitled to, please try using the benefits calculator, or contact our team using the details at the bottom of the page.

Housing Benefit

For most people, successful claims for Universal Credit include support with housing costs, whether that’s mortgage repayments or rent. This Universal Credit housing costs element replaces the individual housing benefit scheme that was in place before. Most people in receipt of Housing Benefit will eventually move over to Universal Credit.

However, there are a few scenarios in which Housing Benefit may still be allocated:

If any of these apply to you, please submit a claim for Housing Benefit.

Apply for Housing Benefit

Working out your housing support


The amount you could receive will depend on the amount of your outstanding mortgage. You can only get help if you have been claiming Universal Credit for 39 weeks or more, with no breaks or earned income. If you start receiving earned income, help with mortgage payments from Universal Credit will stop.


If you rent, the amount of housing support you receive is based on the size of the property you need and whether you live in social housing or private rented accommodation.

This says each of the following are entitled to a bedroom:

  • A couple
  • A person aged 16 or older
  • Two children of the same sex until their 16th birthday
  • Two children until their 10th birthday (any gender)
  • Any other child
  • Where the claimant or their partner requires overnight care and there is a spare bedroom for the carer to occupy
  • A disabled child where there is proven medical need for a separate bedroom
  • A bedroom for approved foster carers who have fostered in the last 12 months
  • Adult children who are in the armed forces but continue to live with parents. There will be a non-dependent charge while deployed on operations and have the intention to return home

If you have a disability and need an extra room for a carer to stay overnight, please let us know.

Anyone with more bedrooms than the above is now deemed to be ‘under occupying’.

For more information about how the housing element of Universal Credit is worked out, please see this guide to Universal Credit housing.

Discretionary housing payments

If you receive housing benefit or Universal Credit with a housing element, but are still struggling to pay your bills, you might be able to get extra help in the form of a discretionary housing payment.

This is a discretionary fund and payments are calculated based on any shortfall between the benefits you already receive and your actual living costs.

These payments are completely discretionary to be decided by the benefits team based on the funding we have available and the individual needs of the applicant.

Payments will be awarded in accordance with our discretionary housing payments policy.

Apply for a discretionary housing payment.

Other useful links

Contact us

Call 01827 709540 to speak to a customer services advisor, use the web chat function, or email the benefits team directly at