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The City of London Corporation is given money each year to help people who have trouble paying their rent and may need further financial assistance. These are called discretionary housing payments.  

This is not part of the normal housing benefit scheme and there is an overall limit set by central Government on the amount that the City Corporation can spend each year.

Discretionary housing payments: important things to know

  • You cannot get discretionary housing payments unless you are already getting housing benefit.
  • Discretionary housing payments cannot be given for items which are not eligible for housing benefit.
  • If you are already getting the maximum housing benefit allowable you cannot get discretionary housing payments.

Can I get a discretionary housing payment?

Payments are made at the discretion of the City Corporation. There are no rules that give anyone a right to payment, but we may be able to pay a discretionary housing payment if we believe you need extra financial support. They may be used for to pay for:

  • reduction because you have more bedrooms than a family of your size needs
  • reduction because the amount of benefit you receive has reached the benefit cap amount of £442.31 per week (£296.35 per week if you are single with no dependants)
  • restrictions when your rent charge is higher than the Local Housing Allowance rate for your family or the Rent Officer has restricted the amount of rent that can be taken into account when working out your housing benefit
  • the presence of a non dependant in your household which has reduced your housing benefit
  • shortfall between your rent and housing benefit due to the level of your income.

These are some general examples, if you wish to discuss your situation in more detail and seek guidance, please contact us.

The amount of the payment and the period for which it is given are at the discretion of the City Corporation, payments may be made weekly or as a lump sum. There is no right of appeal to the Tribunal Service if you disagree with the decision of the City Corporation but you can request that the decision be reviewed.

How to apply for a discretionary housing payment

If you want us to consider you for discretionary housing payments download and complete the  discretionary housing payment form (260KB)​​

Please ensure you give us as much detail as you can about your circumstances and that you complete the details of your weekly expenditure. If we need more information we will contact you and you may be asked to come to our office for an interview.

22 March 2012
Last Modified:
17 March 2020