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Local Housing Allowance
The Local Housing Allowance scheme (known as LHA) was introduced nationally on 7 April 2008. It affects new Housing Benefit claims and changes of address for private sector tenants, although there are certain exclusions from the scheme such as supported housing and Bed and Breakfast accommodation.
Two key aspects of the LHA scheme are that:
- There are 'standard rates' of allowance depending on the number of bedrooms a household requires, published every year in April.
- In most cases, LHA will be paid direct to the tenant rather than to the landlord.
Although the regulations state that default payment of LHA will be made direct to the tenant, a 'Safeguard Policy' to protect vulnerable tenants who have difficulty with their financial affairs, has been drawn up. Applications can be made to pay LHA to the landlord in these cases.
What is Local Housing Allowance?
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a new way of working out new claims for Housing Benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord. It also affects tenants already getting Housing Benefit who move to accommodation rented from a private landlord. LHA was introduced on 7 April 2008.
With Local Housing Allowance, your benefit is not based on the property you live in. It is based on:
- Who lives with you.
- Which area you live in.
- How much money you have coming in.
- What savings you have.
In some cases the amount of benefit you are entitled to will be affected by other things. These can include:
- How much your rent is.
- Whether anyone living with you is expected to contribute to your rent.
LHA Rates for April 2013 to 31st March 2014
|Southend Weekly Rate||South West Essex Weekly Rate|
|Shared Bedroom LHA||£69.23||£65.00|
|1 Bedroom LHA||£114.23||£126.92|
|2 Bedroom LHA||£149.76||£158.08|
|3 Bedroom LHA||£184.62||£184.62|
|4 Bedroom LHA||£229.62||£253.85|
To find out which rate applies to you, get in touch with us on 01702 318197 or 01702 318198 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can check your own LHA rate by contacting the Rent Service by clicking the link in Related Links below.