Discretionary Housing Payments

What is a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)?

A DHP is a payment made by a local authority towards certain housing costs where a person is in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. DHPs are discretionary, which means that there is no automatic right to a payment.

DHPs are paid from a limited fund which means that the local authority has a fixed amount of money each year. For this reason not all applications will receive an award and sometimes awards will be made for lower than the amount requested.

What housing costs can it cover?

  • rent 
  • rent deposits/bonds 
  • rent in advance 
  • removal costs 
  • rent arrears (extreme cases only).

Who might qualify for a Discretionary Housing Payment?

You must:

  • Be getting Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.
  • Need more help to meet your housing cost.

The local authority will decide if they can help you by looking at you and your household's income, savings, expenses and why you need assistance.

Examples of when a DHP might be paid are:

  • An employed person has had their hours at work reduced and now qualifies for housing benefit. Their housing benefit does not fully cover their rent and they can not afford to pay the difference (shortfall) whilst they are on reduced hours.
  • A pregnant woman moves into a home more suitable for herself and the child (when it is born). Housing Benefit is restricted because the property is considered too large for one person until the child is born.
  • A disabled person lives in a ground floor flat that has more bedrooms than they are allowed under Housing Benefit Rules. The flat has been specially adapted for their needs and they want to remain there although their housing benefit does not fully cover their rent.
  • A young couple live in a property which has various defects including dangerous appliances, damp and rodents. They are expecting their first child and need more suitable and safer accommodation. They have found a property suitable for their needs. They have saved and borrowed enough from family for the first months, but they need to pay a bond and were refused help from other sources.

How much can I get?

The maximum you might get is your full rent minus the amount of Housing Benefit or Housing Element of your Universal Credit. For example, a couple pay £65 per week rent. They get £45 per week Housing Benefit. The maximum DHP would be £20 per week.

In most cases, the maximum is £50 per week. If you have been affected by the Benefit Cap you may sometimes be allowed more.

How do I claim a DHP?

You can apply online using one of these two forms:

You must make sure that the application form is fully completed and you give full detailed answers to the questions on the form and provide proofs where necessary.

What if I don't agree with the decision that is made?

If you have a right of appeal this will be detailed on the letter we send you. Any appeals will be dealt with by a Council officer who was not involved in making the original decision.

After this, if you still don't agree with our decision, you can make a further appeal which will be heard by a panel of Council Members.

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Contact details

Bradford Council
Visit us (call us first to make an appointment)

Call us : 01274 432772
Text message (SMS) : 07786 208 100
Email : benefits@bradford.gov.uk

Write to us at:

Housing Benefits and Reductions
PO Box 1251

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