To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 February 2016 to Question 26467, what his policy is on the process by which local authorities should calculate the maximum local housing allowance for properties in their area.
Local Housing Allowance rates for each Broad Rental Market Area are calculated by the Rent Officer Services for England, Scotland and Wales.
Rent Officers collect evidence of achieved rents in each area and use this to calculate the 30th percentile from a ‘list of rents’ for each property size.
This is then used for setting the rates annually in accordance with current Government policy for uprating Local Housing Allowance.
From April 2016, Local Housing Allowance rates will be frozen for 4 years. This means that rates will either remain at the April 2015 level or be set at the 30th percentile from the ‘list of rents’, whichever is the lower.