1.6 million renters to get more housing support from April

1.6 million renters to get more housing support from April

0:01 AM, 11th January 2024, About 5 months ago 2

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Around 1.6 million private renters on low incomes will see their housing support rise from April, as the government increases the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) by an average of £800 a year.

The LHA is the maximum amount of housing benefit or Universal Credit that renters can claim, based on the size and location of their property.

The government has now announced new LHA rates for 2024/25, which will give a bigger boost to those living in the most expensive areas.

Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, said: “Housing costs are the number one expense for families.

“This £1.2 billion boost to Local Housing Allowance, along with our landmark Back to Work reforms, reflects our fair approach to welfare – helping people into employment while protecting the most vulnerable with unprecedented cost of living support.”

Cope with the rising cost of living

The LHA increase is part of the government’s £104 billion package to help households cope with the rising cost of living.

This also includes a 6.7% rise in benefits, an 8.5% rise in the state pension, and two £300 payments to low-income families.

In addition, more than 26 million payments of more than £2 billion have been made since October 2021 through the Household Support Fund, which helps families with essential bills.

The LHA increase has been praised by many housing and homelessness charities, who say it will prevent evictions and reduce poverty.

However, the LHA is still subject to the benefits cap, which limits the total amount of benefits that a household can receive.

Renters may not see the full benefit of the LHA increase

This means that some renters may not see the full benefit of the LHA increase, depending on their circumstances.

According to the new LHA rates, renters who are not affected by the benefits cap could get up to:

  • £1,850 per month for a four-bedroom property in Bristol
  • £850 per month for a two-bedroom property in Greater Glasgow
  • £675 per month for a one-bedroom property in Leeds.

The investment comes on top of the £30 billion the government is providing over 2023/24 on housing support.

‘How vital this investment in housing benefit will be’

Matt Downie, the chief executive of Crisis, said: “It cannot be understated just how vital this investment in housing benefit will be in helping to both prevent and end homelessness.

“In recent years, people receiving housing benefit have found it increasingly difficult to afford the soaring cost of rents.

“Giving housing benefit this crucial boost will make a real difference to people across Great Britain and will relieve some of the pressure facing people on the lowest incomes.”

Announcement has been welcomed by Propertymark

The announcement has been welcomed by Propertymark, who have been pushing for a rise in LHA since it was frozen in 2020.

It says that LHA levels should be adjusted yearly to match market rates, instead of being frozen again in 2025 as the UK Government plans.

The organisation says LHA has fallen behind increasing rents since 2020 and made it harder for the most disadvantaged tenants to afford private rented homes.

It adds: “We will continue to urge the UK Government to go further and increase the LHA level to the 50th percentile.

“This will ensure that tenants have wider access to secure and affordable housing options.”


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Comments

Bernard Mealing

21:56 PM, 17th January 2024, About 5 months ago

So if the Renter. has reach the benefit cap the landlord will not get the higher rents ????

Then there will be more evictions. based on the LHA rate for the house.... not being paid because of the benefit cap.

Landlords again at the bottom of the payment lists.

Reluctant Landlord

10:56 AM, 19th January 2024, About 5 months ago

Do I assume the LHA new rate gets paid automatically, and the first payment made after the 1St April reflects this?
I believe if HB if paid (directly to the LL), the increase is pro rata from 1st April as that is how it is done from the exact date, but what about UC?
If 1st April falls in the tenants BAP period, presumably under the whole month rule that means the new LHA is applied for the whole month from the first day of the BAP ? eg tenants BAP period is 8 March - 7 April. Does that means the new LHA rate will be applied for the 8 March -7 April period, or does the new LHA only apply from the following BAP period 8 April - 7 May?
Anyone know?

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