We have a budgeting tool , which you may find helpful when applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment or Exceptional Hardship Payment as described below.
The Government gives every Council a pot of money each year to help people who get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (housing element) but are having trouble paying their rent. The Council's Housing Benefit Service decides who should be given the payments and when the money for the year runs out, no more payments can be made.
The Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) may be paid weekly,fortnightly or every four weeks with your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. It can also be paid in a lump sum. They can also be backdated.
DHP can be claimed if you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (housing element) but are having difficulty paying the rest of your rent yourself. We will take into account any special circumstances that make it difficult for you to pay your rent, for example, if:
Before granting any requests, we must make sure that there is a justified reason for any payment and there is enough money left in the pot.
A DHP may be used to pay for:
A DHP cannot be paid if the reason for the shortfall is because your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit has been reduced to recover an overpayment or because your other benefits have been reduced, for example, because you left your last job voluntarily. It can't be paid to cover your utility bills or support charges even if they are included in your rent.
Please call our Benefits team on 01329 824646 to make an appointment.
If you would prefer to make your claim over the phone, please call our Benefits team on 01329 824646.
We offer a home visiting service if you are unable to complete an application over the phone or you are unable to come into the Council Offices because you are ill or disabled. Appointments can be made by telephoning 01329 824646.
You may be asked for details of your income and outgoings. You could send copies of relevant bills or bank statements. You should also provide any information about your circumstances that make things difficult for you financially.
So that all our decisions are fair, they are made based on our DHP policy (331 KB). There is no right of appeal to a tribunal if we say we will not give you a DHP, but you can ask us to have another look at the decision. Someone who was not involved in the original decision will carry this out.
If you are still unhappy, the only way to challenge the decision is in the courts using judicial review.
Fareham Borough Council recognises the importance of protecting our most vulnerable customers from the effects of the change in the laws relating to Council Tax and has therefore designed our Council Tax Support scheme to take account of the various statutes that currently protect vulnerable people, including the Equality Act 2010.
The Council has set up an Exceptional Hardship Fund to assist our customers who are in receipt of Council Tax Support and are facing 'exceptional hardship' as a result of the abolition of Council Tax Benefit. The Exceptional Hardship Fund will be available to any customer whose award of Council Tax Support does not meet 100% of their Council Tax liability (after taking into account any appropriate discounts and non-dependant deductions).
The Exceptional Hardship Fund is locally funded and any offers of support are at the sole discretion of Fareham Borough Council.
An application form is available from the Revenues and Benefits Team - see our Contact Us page. Some customers may be expected to engage with the Fareham Citizens Advice Case Work Advisor and provide the required evidence to support their request for assistance.
So that all our decisions are fair, they are made based on our Exceptional Hardship Fund Policy (352 KB). As payments under the Exceptional Hardship Fund are entirely discretionary there is no right of appeal to external bodies, however if you are not satisfied with the decision then an appeal can be made within one month of notification. That appeal must state reasons for the disagreement with the decision and provide evidence of income or expenditure different to that considered at the first decision.
The Head of Housing, Revenues & Benefits will consider the case and respond in writing within one month of the appeal.