Brent - Cost of living

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Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits.

Brent is a full service Universal Credit area which means that most working-age people, who need help to pay for their rent will need to claim Universal Credit, which is replacing Housing Benefit.

You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if either of the following apply:

  • you have reached State Pension age
  • you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

Housing Benefit is a means-tested welfare benefit. This means your income and capital, and the income of anyone living with you, is used to work out if you are eligible. If you are, then it will also be used to work out how much you might get.


Contact us about benefits

Phone: 020 8937 1800

Online: My Account

Visit the Brent Customer Services Centre

Brent Civic Centre

Engineers Way,

Wembley, HA9 0FJ

Discretionary Housing Payments

If you are facing financial difficulties and need help paying your rent and household costs, we may be able to help you with a short term, one-off Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

We have a limited amount of money, each year, to support those who need extra financial support. You may get a DHP to cover housing costs for:

  • a rent shortfall
  • rent deposits
  • rent in advance if you need to move home

Discretionary Housing Payments are not a benefit and should not be seen as a permanent solution. If you are on a low income or struggling to make ends meet, you should seek help and advice on how to manage you budget and make your money go further.

You may also be able to apply for the Resident Support Fund and you can see what other support is available to help with heating and household bills.

The Brent Resident Support Fund (RSF) is a discretionary support fund available to Brent residents who are in financial difficulties, for example struggling with food, utility bills and other household essentials. You can also apply if you are in short-term financial need because of an emergency.  The fund provides additional help in the form of an interest-free loan, grant or both.

If you are a resident, financially vulnerable and need help to pay your Council Tax, you can apply for Council Tax support.

Please be aware that Council Tax Support is not considered within your Universal Credit application with the Department for Work and Pensions. If you need help with your Council Tax, you must apply for Council Tax Support with us.

The amount of support you get is calculated based on the combined earnings of the person claiming and their partner, with a deduction taken based on the earnings of any other adult living in the household.

If you have a moderate to high income, it is unlikely that you will be entitled to any help.

Apply for ‘breathing space’: temporary protection from your creditors while you get debt advice and plan.



Get free local advice and support: our Money and Debt directory lists local organisations that can provide free advice and support to help you deal with your debt or money problems.


Join your local credit union: this is a savings and loans co-operative that operate locally and can provide loans at low rates of interest. Their aim is to promote saving, careful money management and help those dealing with debt.


The Government has announced an 'Energy Price Guarantee' meaning a typical household will now pay around £2,500 a year on their energy bills.

Bills will be higher this winter than they have been in previous years. Remember if you use more – you will pay more. Check out the calculator on MoneySavingExpert for a clearer idea on what you’ll pay based on your general use.

Under the Government's Energy Bills Support Scheme, all households will receive a £400 discount on their energy bills this winter. Stay scam aware – this is an automatic payment and there is no need to apply for this grant. You will not be asked for your bank details at any point.

There are also other ways you could get extra support or reduce your energy bills:


Speak to your energy provider

If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, contact your supplier as soon as possible. They may be able to help by making sure you’re on the cheapest tariff. Many energy suppliers also have hardship funds to help their customers who are in debt, and some will loan you special equipment to help you find the heat loss hotspots in your home so you can make quick fixes to reduce your bill.


Energy saving for your home

You could save money on your bills by making your home more energy efficient. Depending on your situation, you may find the following helpful:



More energy saving ideas


Financial support

You may qualify for financial support towards the cost of your energy bills if you are receiving benefits or certain tax credits:


Get free advice

If you are on a low-income or receive certain benefits, you may be eligible for a Green Doctor appointment. A Green Doctor will help you find ways to save money on your energy bills while keeping your home warm.



Disability Energy Support

Scope offers free energy and water advice to any disabled person or households where disabled people live. They can help with managing energy debt, fuel vouchers and accessing energy benefits, grants and trusts.



Water bills

You may qualify for financial support towards the cost of your water bill. Contact your supplier to find out more:

Thames Water

Affinity Water

Accessibility tools