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29 May, 2020 Open access

Allocation of additional funding for local authorities to support cost of implementing COVID-19 related LHA changes

New DWP guidance confirms funding of £0.45 million to cover cost of notifications to housing benefit claimants affected by changes

The DWP has issued new guidance in relation to the allocation of additional funding for local authorities to support the cost of implementing local housing allowance (LHA) changes.

In Housing Benefit Subsidy Circular S7/2020, the DWP advises that additional funding of £0.45 million will be allocated to councils to meet 'New Burdens' incurred as a result of the decision to increase LHA rates to the 30th percentile of local rents from April 2020 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The DWP goes on to say that -

'This funding is to support an increase in local authority costs to issue new notifications to all housing benefit claimants affected by the increase in the LHA rates due to this policy change.'

For more information, including a council-by-council breakdown of the allocation of the new funding, see Housing Benefit Subsidy Circular S7/2020 from gov.uk