To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the median (a) gap between rent and the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and (b) deduction for universal credit claims in the private rented sector for which LHA does not cover the rent and which are subject to deductions for any combination of (i) universal credit advances, (ii) universal credit overpayments and (iii) tax credit overpayments in the most recent period for which figures are available.
8 February 2022
In the private rental sector, Local Housing Allowance determines the maximum financial support available for renters. In April 2020, we increased Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of local rents at a cost of nearly £1 billion, providing 1.5 million claimants with around £600 more housing support in 20/21 than they would otherwise have received. Local Housing Allowance rates have been maintained at their increased levels in 2021/22 and will remain at those levels for 2022/23.
Median differences between rent and LHA in different broad rental market areas reflect variation in rental markets.
The Government is providing £12 billion of support to ease cost of living pressures, with help targeted at working families, low-income households and the most vulnerable. A further £9 billion has been announced to protect against the impact of rising global energy prices.
For those who require additional housing support, Discretionary Housing Payments are available. Since 2011, the Government has provided almost £1.5 billion in Discretionary Housing Payments to Local Authorities.
The information requested is provided in the table below.
Claims where the Local Housing Allowance is lower than rent (housing shortfall) by selected combinations of deductions they are subject to, August 2021
Number of claims
% of all claims
Monthly median housing shortfall
Monthly median deduction for the selected combination of deductions
Advance and UC overpayment
Advance and Tax Credit overpayment
UC overpayment and Tax Credit overpayment
Advance, UC overpayment and Tax Credit overpayment
1) Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000. Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole percent.
2) The Universal Credit Overpayments and Tax Credit Overpayments figures do not include deductions due to fraud.
3) Only claims with private rent and housing entitlement have been included when identifying those claims where the Local Housing Allowance did not cover rent.
4) Figures are provisional and are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available.
5) Latest figures provided for August 2021 in line with published statistics on Universal Credit Households Statistics.
6) Figures are for Great Britain.