Lewisham Council - Discretionary housing payments

Discretionary housing payments

Discretionary housing payments are stand-alone top-ups made in cases where we feel that someone needs extra help to meet their housing costs.

The funding for these payments is provided by central government, but it is strictly limited.

Generally, we award discretionary housing payments to help people get over short term difficulties. Each application is considered on its merits. Your circumstances do not have to be exceptional, but you do have to demonstrate good reason(s) for requesting additional support.

How to apply

Complete an application form and return it to us.​​

To apply for a discretionary housing payment award if you are affected by the benefit cap please telephone the benefit cap helpline on 0208 314 3122.


To be considered for a discretionary housing payment, you must meet the following conditions:

  • you must be receiving housing benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit 
  • you must not already be getting 100% of your eligible housing benefit or housing costs element of Universal Credit.

Our decision

We will send you a decision notice within one calendar month of the date that we receive your application – this letter will explain the reasons for our decision.

Changes in circumstances

If you are granted a discretionary housing payment, tell us immediately about any changes in your circumstances. Otherwise you may be overpaid and will have to pay the money back.


Housing benefit
Housing Benefits Team Po Box 58996
Catford Road
Se6 9jd

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