Local Housing Allowance: November 2023

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting me about Local Housing Allowance rates ahead of the Autumn Statement, which took place last week.

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) determines the maximum financial support available for renters in the private rented sector. It applies to claims for Housing Benefit and the housing element of Universal Credit. The LHA policy is kept under regular review and rates are reviewed annually by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

In April 2020, the Government boosted investment in the LHA by nearly £1 billion, providing 1.5 million claimants with around £600 more housing support in 2020/21 than they otherwise would have received. The Government has maintained LHA rates at their increased levels for 2023/24 so that everyone who benefitted from the increase will continue to do so. However, it is worth noting that LHA rates are not intended to meet all rents in all areas.

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are available to those entitled to Housing Benefit or the Housing element of Universal Credit who face a shortfall in meeting their housing costs. Since 2011, the Government has provided around £1.6 billion in DHPs to local authorities.

In addition, I was pleased by the Government’s Household Support Fund Awareness week to ensure that people who are eligible for this support access it and the more than £5 million of additional funding which has been made available to support local people with additional cost of living pressures, Richard encourages families across North East Bedfordshire to check for local cost of living support during the Government’s Household Support Fund Awareness Week | Richard Fuller

The Autumn Statement announced that the LHA will increase to the 30th percentile of local market rents, ensuring 1.6 million households will be around £800 a year better off on average in 2024-25, Benefit uprating: estimated number and type of GB families and individuals in families benefitting from the uprating of benefits in 2024/25 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

This will have significant benefits across the country, particularly in areas where rents have increased significantly.

This brings the total support over 2022-2025 to help households and people with the high cost of living to £104 billion, on average of £3,700 per UK household. I understand that in 2023-24, the Government is projected to spend around £31 billion, or around 1.2 per cent of GDP, on support for renters.  

More broadly, the Government has offered a range of support to help the most vulnerable with cost of living and there is a dedicated section to what support is available on my website here: Support with the Cost of Living | Richard Fuller

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.