Sources of help
Discretionary housing payment (DHP)
If you are struggling to pay a shortfall in your rent, you may be able to claim a discretionary housing payment (DHP). A DHP can be claimed when you are already getting either Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.
Your local authority is able to make a short-term award if you are struggling to pay your rent. DHP is often awarded when people are affected by the bedroom tax or benefit cap, but can also be for other reasons such as short-term illness or family circumstances.
Our Housing Officer (Tenancy Sustainment) can provide guidance on whether you should apply for DHP and can help you with the application.
Problems with Housing Benefit
If you have had a problem with Housing Benefit, it may be possible to ask for the decision to be reviewed to get it back into payment or increased. Contact our Housing Officer (Tenancy Sustainment), if you need help with this.
For free advice on dealing with debt you can:
- contact StepChange – a charity which provides expert, tailored advice and practical solutions to problem debt.
Money guidance from the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has produced guidance to help people manage changes to the cost of living. The focus is on people who have not yet missed payments on their bills or credit commitments, but who are at serious risk of doing so.
The guidance on its MoneyHelper website helps people manage their money in uncertain times. These resources and tools are aimed at people who:
Managing your money in uncertain times | MoneyHelper
Other sources of independent advice
You can get independent advice from your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) – find your local CAB here www.citizensadvice.org.uk
You can contact your local Shelter Advisor – find your local Shelter Adviser here
Additional help from your local council
Buckinghamshire Council’s Helping Hand service is available to help individuals or families in need, those on low incomes and those experiencing a financial crisis or emergency in Buckinghamshire. They can offer help with essentials like access to food, household utilities, water and energy bills. They can also help if you are worried about finances and with emotional support and wellbeing. If you need help, regardless of whether you qualify for benefits, you can contact the service by calling 01296 531151 or following the above link.
If you live in Slough and need financial or benefits related support, please read the support for residents pages or contact the main council call centre on 01753 475111.
Extra help available from Bucks Housing
Tenant Welfare Fund
We operate a Tenant Welfare Fund to provide a little extra help to customers experiencing financial difficulties. Tenants are able to apply for a one-off grant of up to £250 to purchase essential items. Recent examples have included help towards a cooker, a fridge/freezer, replacement carpets and decorating costs. To be eligible tenants must be able to provide clear evidence of financial hardship.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call.