Housing Benefit

Housing benefit is support to help pay your rent. For most households it has been replaced by Universal Credit, but you can still claim Housing Benefit if you are: 

  • A pensioner: Check if you have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit. There are different rules for couples.
  • Living in temporary accommodation: This is where your housing is arranged by the council because you are homeless.
  • Living in specified accommodation: This is a definition used in Housing benefit regulations. It sets out the different types of supported housing and the criteria that must be met in order to receive support. This support is for housing costs through housing benefit.
  • If you live in supported accommodation and rent from a private landlord you will not be eligible for Housing Benefit. Only not-for-profit landlords can be considered under the four categories of specified accommodation detailed below:

Exempt accommodation

The first category of specified accommodation. This is supported housing where a not-for-profit landlord provides care, support or supervision to the claimant.

Managed properties

The second category of specified accommodation. Supported housing where the landlord is a not-for-profit organisation and the claimant receives care, support or supervision. However it doesn't meet the definition of exempt accommodation because the care, support or supervision is not provided by the landlord or on their behalf.


The third category of specified accommodation. Refuge accommodation for people fleeing domestic abuse, where the landlord is a not-for-profit organisation.

Local Authority Hostels

The fourth category of specified accommodation. Hostel accommodation provided by a local authority where the tenant receives care, support or supervision. 

If you live in any type of Specified Accommodation, you will need to complete and provide both of the following forms when making your claim. 

If the circumstances above do not apply to you, you should apply for Universal Credit.

You will not be entitled to Housing Benefit if

  • you or your partners savings and investments are above £16,000, unless you are receiving Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit (PCGC)
  • you own and occupy your own home, instead you can apply for Support for Mortgage Interest 

How to apply for Housing Benefit

  • You must apply for Housing Benefit through your MyHarrow Account.
  • If you do not already have a MyHarrow Account, you will need to register before you can access the application form.
  • If you already have an account, log in using the link below to begin your application.
  • The person claiming housing benefit must complete the form themselves. If you are applying on behalf of someone else you must have Power of Attorney (proof will be required)
  • You can complete your application piecemeal, and save your progress using the 'Save' button in the top right of the form. When you next log in to your account, you can access the saved form on the 'My Activity' tab.

Apply for Housing Benefit

Providing documents

When we receive your completed application, we'll email you telling you which documents you need to provide. For further information see our guidance on providing documents for Housing Benefit.

Do check your junk and spam folders for the email.

European Union (EU) nationals and the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

To be considered eligible for Housing Benefit, you will need to prove your status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS). This applies if you are an EU national who has been resident in the UK before 1st January 2021. For information see Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Backdating your claim

For information on backdating your claim see Backdating your benefit claim.

Find out how much Housing Benefit you could get

To find out what benefits you might receive, you can use the Benefits Calculator. This calculator should only be used a guide as it will only give you an estimation of your entitlement. The amount of Housing Benefit you are entitled to if you are a private tenant is determined by a Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

How we will share your information

We will use the information you provide when you apply for Housing Benefit to process your application. We will also use the information you provide for other purposes. For further detail please download our privacy notice.