Local Housing Allowance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd November 2022.

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Photo of Paula Barker Paula Barker Labour, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the effect the freeze on Local Housing Allowance on claimants during rising private sector rents.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are not intended to meet all rents in all areas. For Great Britain in May 2022, 55% of the households on LHA had rents higher than the LHA rates. For these households the average gap was £146 per month.

In April 2020 LHA rates were increased to the 30th percentile of local rents. This investment of nearly £1 billion provided 1.5 million claimants with an average £600 more housing support in 2020/21 than they would otherwise have received.

LHA rates have been maintained at their increased levels since then, so that everyone who benefitted from the increase will continue to do so.

For those who require additional support with housing costs, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available from local authorities. Since 2011 we have provided almost £1.5 billion in DHPs. This is alongside the £421 million Household Support Fund which has been extended from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.

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