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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  COVID-19: Welfare benefit rules and entitlements  →  Thread

local housing allowance

Vonny
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Welfare rights adviser - Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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can i just check whether the lha increase to 30% will be the base for next year or will it go back down to what this year would have been plus any cpi that might exist?

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

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No-one knows for sure.  There is a school of thought that it will be politically very difficult to completely reverse the Covid-19 enhancements and a compromise might be to freeze the increased rates (UC standard element, LHA, WTC basic rate) at this year’s figure until the underlying amounts catch up.

Vonny
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Welfare rights adviser - Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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or just accept that people do need enough money to pay the rent, bills and eat

Gareth Morgan
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Vonny - 07 July 2020 11:43 AM

or just accept that people do need enough money to pay the rent, bills and eat

That’s a bit radical surely?

andyrichards
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City services - Brighton and Hove City Council

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I don’t see how they can go back.  A lot of landlords have already put their rents up!  I think a freeze to what the rates are now is much more likely.

MartinB
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Homeless Unit - Southampton City Council

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What we need is for the LHA to be reset at a level that will make privately renting sustainable, for both renters and landlords within the framework of new legislation which enshrines the ending of no fault evictions. This is probably well over the 30 centile in many areas. Anything else, is likely to see the reductions in homelessness achieved under the last few monthes “emergency planning” wiped out, (probably worse), as soon as the moratorium on evictions come off.

A good start would be for councils, and landlord associations in high homelessness areas being given a voice in setting LHA levels, or allowing higher LHA levels for homeless families who have been accepted as stat homeless. Whilst I guess most people would welcome what has been done, ie… lets take LHA back, to (err) where we were a few years ago for (err) a temporary period and hope we return to normal…... It is a very blunt backward looking tool. Sorry but I doubt the current type of unimaginative measures will work going forward. 

Bit of a rant. Apologies.

HarlowAC
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Harlow Advice Centre

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andyrichards - 08 July 2020 08:56 AM

I don’t see how they can go back.  A lot of landlords have already put their rents up!  I think a freeze to what the rates are now is much more likely.

Yes. Locally, we’ve seen one landlord with multiple properties increase it’s rents in line with the new LHA rates rather than the usual inflation type rise., thus appearing to be profiting from the pandemic and the safeguard designed to protect tenants.
I’d be interested to know if this is something others have seen where they are working?

Gareth Morgan
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Anecdotally, it’s widespread, although how common would be a guess.  It can make people worse off, of course, particularly if they’re hit by the benefit cap.

Etain
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Housing Rights

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Therese Coffey stated that it was a permanent uplift at a Lord’s select committee at the start of June. This was referenced in a House of Commons library briefing paper on social security response to CV. https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8973/