Heres a summary:

From April 2011
i) Local Housing Allowance levels will be restricted to a maximum of 4 bedrooms as opposed to the current size maximum of 5 bedrooms.

ii) Local Housing Allowance upper limits will be introduced for each size of property as follows:

– £250 a week for a 1 bedroom property

– £290 a week for a 2 bedroom property

– £340 a week for a 3 bedroom property

– £400 a week for a 4 bedroom property

iii) The excess of up to £15 per week which claimants could receive where their LHA was greater than their
contractual rental charge will be abolished. The LHA will be reduced to match the contractual rent
if the latter is the lower of the two.

iv) The size-criteria will be adjusted to provide for an additional bedroom for a non-resident carer where a
disabled claimant has an established need for overnight care.

From October 2011

v) Local Housing Allowance levels will no longer be set at the midway point (or median) of non-HB rents in a
Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA). Instead LHA levels will be set using the 30th percentile figure.

vi) Non–dependant deductions ( ie weekly deductions made to the claimants HB or LHA for each grown up, including sons and daughters who have left school) will be increased in stages until they are brought up to the level they would have been at had they been increased each year since 2001 (the last time they increased).

From April 2013

vii) Local Housing Allowance levels will be uprated each year using the Consumer Prices Index instead of the current method of taking the median of the most up to date non-HB rents in the Broad Rental Market Area.

viii) Unemployed Housing Benefit claimants of working age, including those receiving
Local Housing Allowance, will have their HB/LHA reduced by 10% once they have been
in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance for 12 months. They will continue thereafter to be eligible
for only 90% of the normal full rate of HB/LHA until they have left the benefit system.

Will the LHA changes apply to existing claims or will it just be for new claimants only?

It is likely that all LHA cases, both for existing claimants and new claimants, will change over
to the new provisions from the date they are introduced.

With thanks to
Peter Meehan
Housing Benefits Adviser

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