Solutions to high housing costs – the role of Discretionary Housing Payments

Housing Some houses and a hill
Image from the Bevan Foundation media library
ProjectsNovember 1st, 2022

Improving access to support for low-income renters

Accessing affordable housing is a significant challenge across Wales. This problem is especially acute for low income households living in the rental sector. A number of support schemes have been put in place to support households with their housing costs. Our recent work on the housing crisis, however, has showed that people were often unable to get the help they need. This can be because the application process is unnecessarily complex or because of arbitrary spending limits.


The aim of the project is to make it easier for people on low incomes to get and keep a decent home by developing practical proposals to change the help they receive with their housing costs. The primary focus of the project is improving the operation of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs). 

What we are doing 

  • Analysing data on DHP use in Wales
  • Holding conversations with local authority officials working in housing and homelessness teams
  • Holding conversations with key stakeholders from the broader housing sector  
  • Gathering the views of people with lived experience of the DHP system

Key outputs 

Managing the housing crisis – are Discretionary Housing Payments fit for purpose? 


  • The Welsh Government protected investment in its Discretionary Homelessness Prevention Fund in its budget. 
  • The UK Government uplifted the Local Housing Allowance back to the 30th percentile from April 2024.


The project is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.


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