Awarding Discretionary Housing Payments: Constraints of time, conditionality and the assessment of income/expenditure

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As the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme (DHPs) continues to shoulder the considerable burden of mitigating reductions to housing benefit, this paper focuses on how the local authorities tasked with their allocation award these payments. Drawing on a small-scale vignette study with eighteen local authorities and excerpts from an analysis of 242 DHP application forms, it outlines three key problems: the time-limited nature of awards, deficiencies in the assessment of applicant income/expenditure, and the attachment of conduct conditionality to the renewal of awards. These problems in the administration of DHPs add further weight to arguments that this layer of discretionary support is deficient in adequately mitigating shortfalls in housing benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-119
JournalJournal of Social Security Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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© 2018 Sweet & Maxwell and its Contributors. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • discretionary housing payments, discretion, local authority, local government law

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