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Local Housing Allowance

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 107693, tabled on 13 October 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of unfreezing local housing allowance.

Answered on

19 October 2017

There are no plans to lift the four year Local Housing Allowance (LHA) freeze before April 2020.

The Government recognises however that the impact of this measure varies across the country, especially in areas of high rental growth and therefore recycles 30 per cent of the savings from the LHA Freeze to create Targeted Affordability funding. This funding is used to increase LHA rates in areas where local rents have diverged the most. For example in 2017/18 48 LHA rates have been increased by 3 per cent. Further Targeted Affordability Funding will be made available in 2018/19 and 2019/20.

In addition since 2011, the Government has provided around £900 million in Discretionary Housing Payments to local authorities (LAs) to protect vulnerable claimants and support households affected by different welfare reforms including the freeze to LHA rates.