What is Housing Benefit?

Please note we can only provide advice or process applications for residents of Kensington and Chelsea. If you do not live in the borough please visit http://www.gov.uk/ for local information, or seek information from your local authority.

Please note: All of the borough is now covered by Universal Credit. This means you can no longer make a claim for Housing Benefit unless you:

  • are of pensionable age, or
  • you live in supported accommodation, or
  • you live in temporary accommodation (you have been housed by the Council in temporary accommodation because you were homeless), or
  • you are entitled to Severe Disability Premium.

If none of these apply to you, you should claim Universal Credit to get help with housing costs. 

The rest of this page only applies to people who are already on Housing Benefit, or people who are still allowed to claim it.


Housing Benefit is help towards your rent. You do not have to be unemployed or getting income support to receive Housing Benefit. If you have a low income, you may be entitled to receive help with your rent. The amount of benefit you receive will generally depend on your income and any other money or investments you may have, and also the income and savings of other people who live in your home.

Council tenants receive Housing Benefit as a rebate, reducing the amount of rent the tenant has to pay. Private tenants receive their benefit directly as they are expected to manage their own finances. In some cases, this is not possible and an arrangement is set up so that the private landlord receives the benefit instead.

Housing Benefit is only available to those who are liable for paying the rent of the accommodation and have a permanent residency in the United Kingdom. If someone is unable to manage their own affairs, another person can submit a Housing Benefit claim on their behalf.

Housing Benefit is a means tested welfare benefit intended to help claimants with their rent. The main legislation that governs it is the Social Security and Benefits Act 1992 and from that there are two regulations that help its operation, the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 for working age claimants and the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006 for those of pension age.

Click below to the webpage where you can use a simple calculator to find out how much you could claim:

Calculate your entitlement here