Autumn Statement: Housing benefits unfrozen

By William Eichler | 22 November 2023

Housing benefits for private renters are set to increase as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirms the uprating of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates in the autumn statement.

LHA rates, which determine the level of housing support people receive for rent, have been frozen in cash terms since 2020 despite high inflation and rising rental prices.

Rent can represent more than half the living costs of private renters on the lowest incomes, the Chancellor said.

The housing benefit will cover the bottom 30% of local rents from April 2024.

‘I will increase the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate to the 30th percentile of local market rents. This will give 1.6 million households an average of £800 of support next year,’ he told Parliament.

In October, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned Mr Hunt that he would force more people into homelessness unless he ended the three-year freeze on housing rental benefits.

Localis chief executive, Jonathan Werran, said: 'The Autumn Statement is one in which the chancellor has put on his listening ears to take heed of the local government’s plea for short-term assistance, and the lifting of Local Housing Allowance to the 30th percentile of local market rents will provide some welcome immediate relief to those local authorities that risked being sunk financially by burgeoning costs of homelessness and temporary accommodation.'

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