To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the report of the Chartered Institute of Housing Missing The Target? Is targeted affordability funding doing its job?, published on 29 August, what steps they are taking to alleviate the problems faced by tenants of private rented homes caused by the four year freeze on local housing allowance levels.
As part of the measures to bring the welfare bill under control and alongside the freeze to other working age benefits Local Housing Allowance rates have been frozen for four years from April 2016 until March 2020. At Autumn Budget 2017, it was announced that an additional £125 million would be available for Targeted Affordability Funding in 2018/19 and 2019/20. In 2018/19 this enables us to increase 213 Local Housing Allowance rates by 3 per cent in those areas where rates have diverged the most from local rents. More Targeted Affordability Funding will be available in 2019/20 and arrangements for its distribution will be finalised at the end of this year.
In addition, from 2011 the Government has provided around £1 billion in Discretionary Housing Payments to local authorities to protect the most vulnerable claimants and support households affected by different welfare reforms including the freeze to Local Housing Allowance rates.