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Housing and Rental Support

Cost of Living Community Action Housing

If you are struggling to pay rent or council tax, you may be entitled to financial help. Advice and support is also available if you are facing eviction or homelessness.

As well as the Cost of Living Payment, Disability Cost of Living Payment, and the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, there are a number of additional support measures to help with rent and council tax. 

Updated: 14/12/2023

Get support with:

Paying your Council Tax

There are several ways to reduce your council tax bill, if you are eligible. These include:

  • Single person discount
  • Student discounts
  • Discounts for severely mentally impaired people
  • Disabled person reduction
  • Council Tax Support.

For more information and to apply for Council Tax support visit:

Single Discretionary Award Scheme

The Single Discretionary Award Scheme is for people who need urgent financial support, such as food vouchers and utility top ups, or those who are finding it difficult to:

  • Pay rent due to a shortfall in Housing Benefit
  • Pay council tax due to a shortfall in Council Tax Support
  • Buy essential items for their home.

You can apply online at: or by calling Derby City Council on 01332 640000.

Paying Your Rent

Get help with all or part of your rent

You may get help with all or part of your rent. There’s no set amount of housing costs support and what you get will depend on whether you rent privately or from a council or housing association.

Use a benefits calculator to find out if you can get benefits to help pay your rent

Universal Credit if you’re unemployed or on low income

If you and/or your partner are responsible for paying rent for the home you live in, or if you have a mortgage, Universal Credit may provide help towards the cost. 

Check if you are eligible for Universal Credit

Housing benefit

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you are state pension age or you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary accommodation

Check if you are eligible for Housing Benefit

Budgeting Loans

You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on certain benefits for 6 months. This can be used for household items, rent in advance and travelling costs.

You only have to pay back the amount you borrow, and repayments are taken automatically from your benefits.

The lowest amount you can borrow is £100. You could get up to:

  • £348 if you’re single

  • £464 if you have a partner

  • £812 if you or your partner claim Child Benefit

Check if you’re eligible for a Budgeting Loan

Paying Your Mortgage

If you’re behind with your mortgage payments, you’re in ‘arrears’ - this means you owe money to your mortgage provider. 

You need to agree with your mortgage provider a way to pay back what you owe. If you don’t, your mortgage provider might take you to court and try to take your home. They should only do this after exploring all other options with you.

Try to pay as much as you can, even if it’s not the full amount. Your provider can’t take you to court until you owe a total of 3 months' worth of payments.

Get help with interest payments on mortgages or loans

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.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll get SMI for a mortgage or loan you take out.

SMI cannot help you pay:

  • the amount you borrowed - only the interest on your mortgage
  • anything towards insurance policies you have
  • missed mortgage payments (arrears)

Check if you’re eligible for the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme

Worried about being evicted or homeless?

Avoid eviction

Are you living in a privately rented home and facing eviction or having trouble with your tenancy? Derby Homes provides free, impartial help and advice to resolve issues with your tenancy. They aim to work with your landlord to help prevent you from becoming homeless.

For more information visit:

Housing Options

If you are homeless, threatened with homelessness, or need advice about your housing situation, the Housing Options team at Derby City Council can help. You can contact them by calling 01332 888777 or emailing:

For more information visit:

Direct Help & Advice (DHA)

DHA  provides free specialist advice, advocacy, and representation for families and individuals facing crisis, to prevent and alleviate homelessness, debt, and housing difficulty. You can contact them by calling 01332 287850 or emailing:

For more information visit:

Derby Homes Vulnerable Renters Fund

Derby Homes will again be delivering the Vulnerable Renters Scheme until 31 March 2024. The scheme is aimed at helping private rental sector tenants who are affected by the current cost-of-living crisis and are at risk of eviction.

Applications need to be via an approved referrer. Approved referrers can apply for grants for customers they identify as being in rent arrears or experiencing financial hardship, which puts them at risk of becoming homeless.

If you are referred, Derby Homes will contact you to discuss your circumstances and carry out a comprehensive financial assessment. Where support needs are identified, they may also refer you to partners to provide that support. This may include money advice, budgeting support, access to banking products, access to digital skills support or education and training services.

Awards will ordinarily be paid directly to a landlord to be allocated to their tenants rent account. Only one award per household will be made from this scheme. The maximum award that can be made is £1,000 and will depend on individual circumstances.

Payments will be made on the understanding that an eviction will be prevented and the property will remain available to the tenant for at least the next 6 months, providing no other breaches of tenancy occur.

In order to qualify for a payment from the Vulnerable Renters Fund, tenants must be:

  • Eligible for housing advice/assistance from the local authority
  • A private rented sector tenant within the Derby city area
  • Threatened with homelessness because of the cost-of-living crisis
  • In financial hardship

For more information please email the Private Rented Sector Access Team at Derby Homes at or call the Housing Options team at Derby City Council on 01332 888777.