Local Housing Allowance (LHA) constitutes a form of housing benefit accessible to individuals residing in privately rented housing. It is based on the number of rooms you and the people living with you require.
Payments are made direct to you so that you can pay your landlord.
- Available In
- Available to Age Groups
- No Restriction
- What we can help with
- Help with accommodation or my tenancy
- Information on government/council support schemes
- Available to these Groups
- All Groups
The Local Housing Allowance has the following aims:
- Fairness: LHA aims to allocate the same amount to tenants with similar circumstances within the same locality. This differentiates it from the current Housing Benefit structure, which ties benefit levels to actual property rents.
- Choice: Tenants can exercise greater control over their income, much like those not receiving benefits. They can decide whether to opt for a larger property or allocate less to rent and increase their income.
- Transparency: The existing link between Housing Benefit and individual rents is intricate and doesn't clearly outline the support available for low-income individuals. With LHA, tenants (and landlords) can ascertain beforehand the exact benefit amount for housing costs in various areas and property sizes.
- Personal responsibility: Encouraging individuals to manage their rent payments themselves aids in developing budgeting skills that unemployed tenants will need upon reentering the workforce.
- Financial inclusion: The ideal scenario is for housing payments to be deposited into a bank account, with a standing order set up to pay the landlord. This method offers a secure payment process and assures landlords of rent payment.
- Reduced work barriers: Clearer understanding of potential in-work benefits is expected to motivate customers to transition from welfare to employment.
- Enhanced administration: LHA eliminates the need for complex rent restrictions and individual rent referrals to rent officers, which currently contribute to processing delays for private tenants. The LHA scheme is more straightforward for local authorities to manage and easier for tenants to comprehend.
Certain exemptions apply, and LHA will not impact you if:
- Your tenancy commenced prior to 1989.
- You rent from a Housing Association.
- Your tenancy falls under protection, such as residing in supported housing provided by specific social landlords or charities.
- You live in a Caravan, houseboat, or a hostel.
- Your tenancy involves a significant amount of board, like in B&Bs.