Housing benefit boost

The local housing allowance (LHA) freeze has been reversed as part of the Chancellor’s £7 billion investment in the welfare system, aimed at protecting jobs and incomes during the coronavirus outbreak.

LHA (including for Universal Credit claimants) will now cover the lowest 30th percentile of market rents – effectively reversing the impact of the then Chancellor George Osborne’s 2016 freeze on the benefit, and boosting housing benefit rates.

Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: “The LGA has long-called for a lifting of LHA rates to address the growing gap between income and rents. It is great the Chancellor has acted.

“Restoring LHA rates to cover at least the lowest third of market rents will deliver more of the security that tenants need during this coronavirus crisis and support households who need help to meet their housing costs.

“Alongside the additional resources that have been announced for Universal Credit and the welfare benefits system, this will play an important role in relieving pressure on local services and hardship support at this crucial time.”

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