Local Housing Allowance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 20 October 2023.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Independent, Newcastle upon Tyne East

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the impact of the freeze on Local Housing Allowance since April 2020 on the discretionary income of claimants of the housing element of Universal Credit.

Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of local housing allowance rates.

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

The department works closely with stakeholders, jobcentres and local authorities to understand the impact of its policies. The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) policy is kept under regular review and rates are reviewed annually by the Secretary of State.

LHA determines the maximum housing support for tenants claiming the housing element of Universal Credit in the private rented sector. It ensures that claimants in similar circumstances living in the same area are entitled to the same maximum rent allowance regardless of the contractual rent paid. LHA rates are not intended to cover all rents in all areas.

In 2020 we spent almost £1 billion increasing LHA rates to the 30th percentile of market rents. This significant investment has been maintained ensuring that everyone who benefited continues to do so. Over 2022/23 and 2023/24 the Government is providing support in excess of £94 billion to help households with the rising cost of living.

The 30th percentile levels of local market weekly rents for the Tyneside Broad Rental Market Area for each year from 2020 can be found here. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) publish 30th percentile rental data alongside weekly LHA rates. This is not available as a monthly equivalent for Universal Credit.

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