Universal Credit for housing costs

You may be eligible for a housing payment to help with:

  • rent
  • some service charges.

This is called the housing element of Universal Credit. If you rent your home, the amount of money you can get will be worked out in a similar way to Housing Benefit. It cannot be higher than the benefit cap, if this applies to you.

The money is usually paid directly to you and it will be your responsibility to pay your landlord. Or you can ask for it to be paid directly to your landlord. The money can be paid to you once or twice a month.

If you live in Northern Ireland, the money will be paid directly to your landlord unless you have asked for the money to be paid directly to you.

For more information about the housing element of Universal Credit, visit gov.uk/housing-and-universal-credit or speak to a welfare rights adviser.

How to claim

You can apply online a gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim

If you have difficulty using a computer, you can apply by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 or use textphone 0800 328 1344.

It helps to have as much information about your circumstances as you can, including your tenancy agreement if you have one, the amount of rent you pay, and information about your landlord or your mortgage.

You will usually have to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre within 7 days of making your claim. If you cannot attend because of your condition or treatment, you should tell them straight away. You will also have to complete a claimant commitment.

Back to Help with bills and housing costs

Housing Benefit

You may be able to get help with your rent payments if you have a low income.

Help with council tax or rates

Council tax reduction schemes can help people in England, Scotland and Wales to pay their council tax. In Northern Ireland, there are options to help you pay your rates bill.

Help with energy bills

There are schemes to help you manage the cost of fuel bills and to make energy-saving changes to your home.

Help with service charges

You might be able to get help with service charges, such as bills for repairs and maintenance to your home.

Grants for your home

You may be able to get financial help if you need to repair, improve or adapt your home.