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Help at hand for those struggling to pay rent, etc


We are aware that owing to COVID 19, and difficulties that people are facing with reduced employment, or sometimes losing their job, that some people are struggling to pay their rent. Discretionary housing payments can give you extra financial help if you’re already getting housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit but you’re still finding it hard to pay your rent.

They’re awarded at Harrogate Borough Council’s discretion and money is limited, which means that they are usually only made for short periods and are only given in cases of extreme financial hardship.

Awards will usually only be made if there is evidence to show that:

  • you’re suffering severe financial hardship and finding it difficult to meet your “essential” living expenses, such as rent, council tax, food and utility bills and
  • you or your family have exceptional circumstances, for example, you have a severe illness or disability that prevents you from moving to cheaper accommodation, you’re fleeing violence at home, your family home is at risk because of severe levels of debt

All cases are looked at individually.


Complete a discretionary housing payments application form or ring 01423 500600 , ext. 59777, to ask for a form.

Discretionary housing payments application

Help with removal costs

You can also apply for discretionary help towards the cost of moving to alternative accommodation. This can cover the cost of things like van hire, skip hire, decorating costs, appliance connections. You can claim this if:

  • your housing benefit or universal credit housing payments are being restricted 
  • the shortfall in your rent is causing severe financial hardship and
  • you’ve found accommodation to move to that’s more affordable but you can’t afford to pay your removal costs


Complete a help with moving costs application form or call 01423 500600, ext. 59777, to ask for a form.

Help with moving costs application form

For more details, see: discretionary housing payments leaflet.

For enquiries on either of these two payment schemes, fill in and send this Harrogate Borough Council Enquiries form.


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