Help and Advice

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

DHP is a limited fund to help residents whose housing benefit has been restricted, for example because of the Local Housing Allowance caps, or other changes to benefits. DHP is separate to the housing benefit scheme and all awards are made at your council’s discretion. To be eligible, you must be on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, and your circumstances must be exceptional. These payments are normally only awarded for a limited period and cannot be relied upon to solve long-term housing difficulties. To apply, you should contact the Housing Benefit team at your council:


Credit Unions

Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial co-operatives. They may be able to offer services including savings accounts and affordable loans:


Social Services

Councils run a variety of services to help vulnerable adults and children in their communities:

If there is an emergency outside of normal office hours please phone the emergency duty team at your council:

  • Hammersmith and Fulham on 020 8748 8588
  • Kensington and Chelsea on 020 7373 2227
  • Westminster on 020 7641 6000

Housing

If you are about to be made homeless you should contact the housing options team at your council:


DWP Short-term Advances and Budgeting Advances

Short-term Advances of benefit can help you through a period of financial need by providing an advance of your benefit award, which will then be recovered from your future payments. To find out more, contact either DWP or Jobcentre Plus - whichever was dealing with your benefit claim.


Budgeting Advances

Budgeting Advances replace Social Fund Budgeting Loans for eligible Universal Credit claimants from April 2013. Budgeting Loans will continue to be available to people who have not yet transferred to Universal Credit. Find out more.


Debt Advice

The National Debtline is a telephone service that gives free, independent and confidential advice on dealing with debt problems. The phone number is 0808 808 4000 or visit the National Debtline website.

There is also expert help provided by local organisations.

Debt advice in Hammersmith and Fulham:

Debt advice in Kensington and Chelsea:

Debt advice in Westminster:


Charities and Voluntary Organisations

Eat Sleep Learn Play!

If you live in Westminster and you have a young child or children, or are pregnant, you may be able to get essential household items from the Save the Children Fund Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! scheme. Awards can include things like a child's bed, a cooker or educational books and toys. Find out more.

The Campden Charities

If you are of pension age and live in the parish of Kensington, you may be able to get help with bills or essential household appliances. You must have less than £1000 in savings and not own your own home. Find out more.

The EDF Energy Trust

The EDF Energy Trust is a national charity that may be able to help you to pay off fuel or other household debts, or help you to get essential household items. Find out more.

Foodbanks

Foodbanks may be able to supply you with emergency food:

Buttle UK

Buttle UK is national charity who may be able to help with essential items for children and young people. Find out more.