To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the the median (a) gap between rent and the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and (b) deduction for universal credit claims in the private rented sector where LHA does not cover the rent and which are subject to deductions for (i) universal credit advances, (ii) universal credit overpayments and (iii) tax credit overpayments in the most recent period for which figures are available.
28 May 2021
In 2020/21 a boost of almost £1 billion to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in response to Covid-19, provided 1.5 million households in the private rented sector with around £600 more in housing support over the year. For those who require additional support with housing costs Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available.
We carefully balance our duty to the taxpayer to recover overpayments with our support for claimants. Steps are in place to ensure deductions are manageable; we lengthened the payback period from 12 months to 24 meaning in effect someone can receive 25 payments over 24 months and also reduced the normal maximum rate of deductions in Universal Credit from 30% to 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance enabling claimants to take home more of the award.
a) In February 2021, where there was a gap between rent and the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) the median was £100 per month.
b) In February 2021, the median deduction for Universal Credit claims in the private rented sector where LHA does not cover the rent and which are subject to deductions were:
i. £61 for Universal Credit Advance deductions
ii. £52 for Universal Credit Overpayment deductions
iii. £53 for Tax Credit Overpayment Deductions
1) Figures are rounded to the nearest £1.
2) The Universal Credit Overpayments and Tax Credit Overpayments figures do not include deductions due to fraud.
3) Figures are only available up to February 2021 to correspond with the latest UC Official Statistics.