Last updated:

17th August 2023

Help with housing costs for people with children

I rent my home

Check whether you need to apply for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit for help towards your rent.

Applications for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and Universal Credit must be completed online.

If you receive Housing Benefit, or the housing cost element of Universal Credit, and you are struggling to pay your rent you can also ask us to consider giving you extra help, known as discretionary housing payments.

I have a mortgage

Your mortgage lender will be keen to help and will talk through your options.

They have to make reasonable attempts to make an agreement with you to change the way you make payments and when you make them.

Help with mortgage interest

If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on:

  • your mortgage
  • loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home

This help is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).

It’s paid as a loan, which you’ll need to repay with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home (unless you’re moving the loan to another property).

You usually need to be getting, or treated as getting, a qualifying benefit to get SMI.

Water bills

If you have a low income or are struggling to pay your bills can apply for financial support from your water provider.

Grants for energy debt

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off.

Open to customers of all suppliers:

Open to customers of the named supplier:

If your supplier isn’t listed it’s a good idea to contact them directly to see what extra support they can give you.

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