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Social Security Benefits: Private Rented Housing

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 119679, tabled on 7 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she made of the impact of the Benefit Cap on private renters in areas with high rental costs.

Answered on

11 February 2022

The Government firmly believes that it is in the best interests of children to be in working households and the benefit cap provides a clear incentive to move into work. The benefit cap provides fairness for hard-working tax payers. Households can still receive benefits up to the equivalent salary of £24,000, or £28,000 in London.

The Local Housing Allowance determines the maximum financial support available for renters in the private rented sector but are not intended to meet all rents in all areas.

In April 2020, Local Housing Allowance rates were increased to the 30th percentile of local rents. This investment of nearly £1 billion provided 1.5 million claimants with an average £600 more housing support in 2020/21 than they would otherwise have received.

Local Housing Allowance rates have been maintained at their 2021/22 increased levels and will remain at those levels for 2022/23, so that everyone who benefitted from the increase will continue to do so.

For those who require additional support, Discretionary Housing Payments are available. Since 2011, we have provided almost over £1.5 billion in Discretionary Housing Payments to local authorities, for households who need additional support with their housing costs.