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17 February 2020

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900,000 UK residents to see an increase in Housing Benefit

Wednesday 15 January 2020

The UK Government has announced that the freeze on Local Housing Allowance rates has been lifted and could see Housing Benefit payments rise from April.

The freeze, that has been in place since 2016, has now been lifted as of 13 January 2020 by the Minister for Welfare Delivery which will see Local Housing Allowance rise by inflation and will provide an average of around £10 extra a month to affected households in the private rented sector.

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Lifting the freeze on LHA rates will not improve access to the private rented sector.

The allowance has always been too low to support families and following the rent increases we've witnessed in recent years, raising the payments in line with inflation will go nowhere near the level needed to have the required impact.

We have called on Government time and time again to end the LHA cap and improve how Universal Credit operates in order to help it's recipients' ability to obtain good quality and well managed accommodation.

The Government has missed an opportunity here to help vulnerable and lower-income tenants.

Phil Keddie

David Cox
ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive

The announcement also means that those receiving Universal Credit, legacy benefits or are in receipt of job seeker's allowance, employment and support allowance, income support, housing benefit, child tax credits, working tax credits and child benefit will also see a rise from 1 April.

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This government is levelling up opportunity across the UK, and this will be a welcome increase for around 900,000 people as we provide more money to help pay for housing.

We are committed to tackling all forms of homelessness - ending the freeze on housing benefits is just one part of achieving this. We have announced an additional £263 million to help councils provide better support to homeless people, and importantly, prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

Will Quince, Minister for Welfare Delivery

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