Housing Benefits

Residents can apply for Housing Benefit to help pay rent if they are facing difficulties.

Residents can apply for Housing Benefit to help pay rent if they are facing difficulties. 

Most people should now claim help with their rent or Housing costs from Universal Credit.

For more information, please contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 or check the Universal Credit website (opens in a new window)


You may get housing benefit if:

  • living in supported or temporary accommodation 
  • of pension age (if you are part of a couple and one of you is of pension age, please contact us for advice on what to claim as it will depend on your circumstances)

Usually you won’t get Housing Benefit if:

  • you rent your home from a close relative who lives in the same house
  • you own the property you're claiming benefit for (or have a mortgage on that property)
  • you and any partner have joint savings or investments of more than £16,000
  • you're a foreign national subject to immigration control
  • you are receiving Universal Credit(Opens in a New Window)

Backdated claims

We may be able to pay you benefit from an earlier date, if there was a good cause for the delay in making your claim.

If you’re under pension age, you must write to us if you want your claim to be backdated. We can sometimes backdate your claim for up to one month from the date we receive your written request for backdating if there’s a good reason why you didn't claim earlier.

If you’re of pension age, we’ll automatically backdate your claim by up to three months from the date we receive your claim.

You can apply for Housing Benefit online by using the form under Related Forms.

What you’ll get

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is used to work out how much Housing Benefit we can pay for private tenants to rent their homes.

The amount of LHA rate you get is based on the number of bedrooms your household needs. You need one bedroom for

  • each person or couple over 16

  • two children under 16 of the same sex

  • two children under 10 regardless of sex

  • an extra room for a disabled tenant or partner who needs a non-resident overnight carer

For more information about Local Housing Allowance please view our LHA FAQs. (.pdf) (10.1KB) (Opens in a New Window) If you would like to check your Local Housing Allowance Rate please check LHA on the Government's website. (Opens in a New Window)

How we pay your Housing Benefit

A notification letter (.pdf) (59.1KB) (Opens in a New Window) will be sent to you confirming any entitlement to Housing Benefit.

If you're a council tenant, we'll pay your benefit direct to your rent account.

If you're a housing association tenant, we will pay your benefit direct to your bank account.

If you're a private tenant, we'll pay your benefit direct to your bank account.

In some circumstances we may pay your benefit directly to your landlord.

View 2024/25 Payments Schedule (.pdf) (108KB) (Opens in a New Window)