Housing benefit is a national scheme to help you pay your rent. 

If you are of working age

You will need to apply for Universal Credit for help with your housing costs unless you live in:

  • supported accommodation
  • temporary accommodation provided or arranged through the council 

If you are a pensioner or live in supported or temporary accommodation

You can claim housing benefit if you have a low income of any type, including those who work for an employer or who are self-employed.

The amount you receive will be based on your income and circumstances. Housing benefit is worked out and paid by your local council but the rules about entitlement are set by government.

Benefits calculator

Use the benefits calculator to find out how much you might be able to claim.

Remember this calculation is an estimate based on the information you give us.

Benefits calculator

Who cannot receive housing benefit?

You cannot receive housing benefit if any of the following apply:

  • you pay rent to a close relative who lives with you
  • you live in a care home, nursing home or elderly persons’ home
  • you rent a home from your ex-partner and you both used to live there
  • you are the parent or guardian of your landlord’s child
  • you live in the home as part of your job
  • you are an asylum seeker who has not been given refugee status or indefinite or exceptional leave to remain in the UK
  • you have been admitted to the UK on condition that you have ‘no recourse to public funds’
  • you are a sponsored immigrant who has lived here for less than 5 years
  • you are in the UK illegally or your permission to stay has run out
  • you or your partner have more than £16,000 in savings, unless you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit

You may not be eligible for housing benefit if any of the following apply:

  • you used to live with your landlord as a family member, relative or friend and now pay that person rent
  • you live in a property that is run by a religious order of which you are a member
  • you rent from a trust and you are a trustee or beneficiary of the trust
  • you rent the property from a company of which you are a director or employee
  • you used to own the property which you now rent
  • you have a second property elsewhere
  • you are a student
  • you are a prisoner
  • you are absent from your home
  • you have come to live in the UK within the last 2 years