If you're struggling to pay your Council Tax, rent or mortgage, you may be eligible for a variety of support.
Help to pay your rent
You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or need help with your living costs. You could be working (including self-employed or part time) or be out of work.
To claim you must:
- live in the UK
- be aged 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- be under State Pension age
- have £16,000 or less in money, savings and investments
Housing Benefit is a welfare benefit that helps people on a low income to pay their rent. It can pay for part or all of your rent.
You may be able to claim Housing Benefit if:
- you pay rent
- you're on a low income or claiming benefits
- your savings are below £16,000
- you, and your partner:
- are of state pension age, or are in receipt of Pension Credit (either component)
- are resident in temporary or supported exempt accommodation
Discretionary Housing Payment
Our Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme provides for a top-up of rent for a temporary period to help people facing a crisis and to enable them to stay in their homes. To be eligible you must already receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, and this must not already cover the full cost of your rent.
You must demonstrate that your weekly income is less than your weekly essential expenditure. An award is normally for six months.
If you're a Berneslai Homes tenant
If you're a Berneslai Homes tenant and you're struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, you can get help and support from the Berneslai Homes Tenants First service.
Help to pay your mortgage
If you're worried about your mortgage or struggling with repayments the most important thing to do is contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible. Your lender will be able to provide support and guidance to help you.
Lenders who've signed up to the Mortgage Charter have agreed a range of measures to help with rising interest rates and pressures on finances. These include:
- making it easier to switch to a new deal at the end of your current one
- switching to interest only payments
- extending your term to help reduce payments
Support for Mortgate Interest (SMI)
If you’re struggling to meet your mortgage repayments, the government may be able to help.
You might be able to apply for the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme to get help towards your interest payments on:
- your mortgage
- loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home
Help to pay your Council Tax
Council Tax Support
If you’re on a low income you may be able to claim Council Tax Support to help you pay your Council Tax bill. Council Tax Support reduces your Council Tax bill in the same way other discounts (like single person discount) reduce your bill.
Council Tax Discretionary Relief
If you've been awarded Council Tax Support and you're still finding it difficult to pay your Council Tax bill, you can apply for further discretionary relief.
Any further relief will only be awarded if it's considered you're suffering extreme financial hardship.
Help with household essentials
If you're on a low income, the resettlement grant scheme can help you with the cost of essential household items. These include things such as beds or white goods - like a fridge or washing machine.
This scheme runs from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. It's only available if you're moving into a property and taking a tenancy on for the first time