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Apply for housing benefit

Find out who can apply for housing benefit, apply online and what happens if you claim Universal Credit.

You can apply for housing benefit if you pay rent and are on a low income. This includes if you pay rent to:

  • the council
  • a housing association
  • a private landlord
  • a hostel

Before you start

  • To qualify you must usually live in the property and be your main home
  • You or your partner must not have savings of £16,000 or over
  • A partner is someone you're married to, a civil partner or someone you live with as partner
  • We'll ask for proof of your circumstances. You need to send this within 14 days of submitting your form

Claim housing benefit/council tax reduction

Proof of circumstances

You need to provide these documents for you and your partner. This includes proof of:

  • evidence of your identity 
  • National Insurance number
  • any savings, capital or investments
  • any earnings
  • bank statements
  • any benefits, allowances or pensions
  • private lease or tenancy agreement

You must provide original documents. We won't accept copies.

You can take these to our Council offices in Barrhead or Giffnock. Staff will take a photocopy and return your documents.

Universal Credit and housing costs

From 26 September 2018 if you claim Universal Credit (UC), you'll no longer claim housing benefit.

Instead you'll claim the housing element of UC. You apply for this online when you make your UC application. You need to tick the box to claim help with housing costs to get this payment.

Find out more about housing costs and Universal Credit

Discretionary housing payment

You might get help with your rent if you get housing benefit or UC housing costs.

You might qualify if:

  • your housing benefit is reduced because of the benefit cap or spare room subsidy
  • you have serious financial problems which means you're having trouble paying your rent

How to apply


Benefits and Discretionary Payments Team
Barrhead Council offices
211 Main Street,
East Renfrewshire.
G78 1SY
Phone: 0141 577 3002

Related information

Housing benefit and council tax reduction appeals

 UK government: Benefits calculator 

Apply for a council tax reduction

Local Housing Allowance rates