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Welfare Update

Department for Work and Pensions written statement – made on 13th January 2020.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I am announcing that from April 2020 Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates will be increased in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), ending the freeze to the Local Housing Allowance and delivering on the manifesto commitment to end the benefit freeze.

The Rent Officers Orders for Housing Benefit and Universal Credit, which provide for the increase, will be laid in the House later today and a corresponding provision will implement the changes for Northern Ireland

This increase will mean the majority of people in receipt of housing support in the Private Rented Sector will see their housing support increase, on average benefiting by around £10 per month.

This Government continues to spend around £95 billion a year on working age benefits, including around £23 billion to help people with their housing costs.

Ending the freeze to LHA rates ensures we are continuing to support the most vulnerable in society. And, as announced at the Spending Round in September 2019 there will be an additional £40 million in Discretionary Housing Payments for 2020/21, to help affordability in the private rented sector.

My Department will continue to work with colleagues across government on housing, including working closely with MHCLG to find ways to reduce homelessness and meet the cost of living in rented accommodation through good housing supply and a welfare system that supports the vulnerable.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS26