LHA Benefits Freeze Decried As Absurd
Official statistics found the majority of private tenants receiving LHA benefits are having to cope with a monthly shortfall of £100 to pay their rent, according to an industry body.
The stats show that nearly 60 per cent of tenants with two children receiving LHA benefits to pay their rent are not receiving enough funds to cover the full cost. Across different regions the percentage of tenants suffering’ from the shortfall range from around 40 per cent in London, to more than 68 per cent in Wales.
The Local Housing Allowance assesses how much tenants receive to pay for their housing as part of the overall Universal Credit payment. Because of Covid the government increased payments in April 2020 to cover the lowest 30 per cent of PRS rents in all areas, however in April 2021 the rate was frozen
This has resulted in housing benefit being lower than some current rates which will see many private tenants having fewer properties that they can afford.
The industry body is demanding the government to stop the freeze of the Local Housing Allowance so tenants’ rent truly ‘mirrors’ average rents across the UK’s regions.
A spokesperson for the industry body, said: “It is simply absurd that housing benefit support fails to reflect the reality of rents as they currently stand. All the freeze is doing is exacerbating the already serious cost of living crisis.
“The Chancellor needs to listen and respond to the concerns of both renters and landlords and unfreeze housing benefits as a matter of urgency.”