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Help with housing costs

We are always here to help if you are having issues with your housing costs, such as paying your monthly rent and other charges. The first step is to check if you are getting all the housing cost benefits you are entitled to, as detailed below. 


Managing your tenancy – How we can help

Speak to us about any issues with your rent payments. If you find that you are having difficulty managing your monthly rent payment, please contact your Housing Officer on 0800 111 4646 in the first instance.

Housing Benefit / Universal Credit Housing Costs

Housing Benefit / Universal Credit Housing Costs are means-tested benefits for people who have a low income and modest savings to help with rent and some service charges.

To be eligible for Housing Benefit you:

  • will have reached State Pension age
  • will have a low income or be claiming other benefits
  • will either have less than £16,000 in savings or be getting the guarantee part of Pension Credit
  • will be receiving ‘care, support or supervision’ from you housing provider – for example if you live in very sheltered housing

To claim housing benefit please contact your local council.

If you receive Pension Credit, the Pension Service should contact your local council to let them know you are entitled to Housing Benefit.

To be eligible for Universal Credit Housing Costs you:

  • will be of working age i.e., under State Pension age
  • will live in general needs or amenity, housing or, you will live in sheltered housing AND you will not be getting ‘care, support or supervision’. *

* Most Local Authority areas will no longer pay Housing Benefit for Sheltered accommodation so you should apply for Universal Credit Housing Costs in that instance. If you have an additional bedroom that is not occupied, Universal Credit will reduce the amount they pay you. This is called Bedroom Tax. If this happens you should apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) via your local council to cover the shortfall.

If you already get Universal Credit, apply for housing payments in your online account.

If you are new to Universal Credit, apply here

Discretionary Housing Payment

If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs, but still have problems paying your rent you may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment from your local council. The Discretionary Housing Payment fund is available for individuals affected by Bedroom Tax and the Benefit Cap.

Support for Mortgage interest

If you receive certain means-tested benefits such as Pension Credit you may be eligible for help towards your housing costs including the interest on your mortgage or a loan for essential repairs or improvements to your home. This is available as a loan which is secured on your home. For information see the U.K Government website. 

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction can help people who have low incomes with the cost of Council Tax. It is means tested, looking at your and your partner’s income and savings.

To be eligible for a Council Tax reduction:

  • you should have a low income or be claiming other benefits
  • either have less than £16,000 in savings or be getting the guarantee part of Pension Credit
  • Discounts of 25% for single person households exist, as do discounts for people who are severely mentally impaired because of: a degenerative brain disorder (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease); a stroke; other forms of dementia; learning disability; severe or chronic mental illness.

If you receive certain means-tested benefits, for example, Pension Credit, you will automatically be entitled to full Council Tax Reduction unless other people live with you. You will still be liable for your water and sewerage charges.

For more information visit: Age Scotland – Council Tax and Council Tax reduction guide April 2023

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