Housing Benefit - Help to pay your Rent

Housing Benefit helps people on a low income pay some or all of their rent. You can claim if you pay rent and you:

  • have a low income whether from benefits or low-paid work, including part-time work or self-employment (but not if you get Universal Credit - your housing costs are included); or
  • you are moving from benefits into work.

You usually need to have savings or capital of less than £16,000 (unless you or your partner have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit, and one of you gets the guaranteed part of that credit).


The Council runs the scheme but the Government sets the rules. How much you get depends on:

  • whether you have a partner
  • your income from working, and from things like benefits and pensions.
  • any savings or investments you have
  • the circumstances of other people living with you (their age and income for example)
  • the number of bedrooms you need
  • how much of your rent counts for benefit
  • Local Housing Allowance rules if you rent from a private landlord.

You can sometimes get benefit when you are temporarily living away from home as long as you intend to return.

Housing Benefit can be complicated and there are exceptions to the rules. See who can't get Housing Benefit.


Click here for more information about renting in the private sector.