9:04 AM, 18th April 2023, About 11 months ago 2
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has hit out after the government revealed it has not tried to calculate how many people cannot pay their rent because of the freeze on housing benefit rates.
The admission has been made by the Work and Pensions Minister, Mims Davies, in response to a parliamentary question.
The news comes as Local Housing Allowance (LHA) claimants face a third year of their payments being frozen in cash terms.
Essentially, it means that the housing support provided by the government does not reflect rents as they are today – but are, instead, linked to market rents as they were in 2019.
The NRLA’s chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: “The NRLA is appalled at the Government’s complacent attitude.
“Amidst a cost of living squeeze we need to do everything to support the sector and often vulnerable tenants in accessing the housing they need.”
He added: “It beggars belief that ministers have frozen vital support for many renters with no idea how many will be unable to afford their housing as a result.
“The Government should unfreeze housing benefit rates as a matter of urgency.”
The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that households in receipt of the LHA will receive an average of £50 a month less in benefit support than they would have got if rates had risen in line with rents.
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