Local Housing Allowance
Local housing allowance is a way of working out how much help you can receive towards paying your rent. The amount of help you receive can be capped and the amount will be based on:
- where you live
- your household size
- your income - including benefits, pensions and savings (over £6,000)
- your circumstances
What is changing?
If you are on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and took a tenancy after 1 April 2016 you will be affected by the LHA cap from 1 April 2019.
If you are under 35 years old, live alone and you are not entitled to the severe disability premium, help with your rent will be capped to the 'shared room rate' (SRR) of Local Housing Allowance (LHA), even if you do not share your home with anyone else.
- New tenants from 1 April 2016
If you have taken a new tenancy on or after 1 April 2016, the amount of housing benefit you receive could be reduced from 1 April 2019 to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate.
What do these changes mean?
- If you are in receipt of housing benefit or UC on or after 1 April 2019, you will need to consider how you will afford any shortfall in your housing benefit.
- If you are on UC you will be affected by the Local Housing Allowance Cap (LHA).
- If your tenancy started before 1 April 2016 you will not be affected by the Local Housing Allowance cap if you receive housing benefits.
- If you move to a new tenancy, your rent will be limited to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
- If you live in sheltered or supported housing, changes will be effective from 2019; however, (transitional arrangements are currently being decided on).
Below is an example of the LHA rates in Birmingham.
Local Housing Allowance Room Rates
Rates valid from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2020
|Number of Bedrooms
|Shared room rate
|1 bedroom self contained
|4 bedrooms or more
Please note this is the maximum amount of LHA you will get - your actual benefit may be less depending on the amount of money you have coming in and if other adults apart from your partner live with you.
How can you prepare?
If you think you will be affected by the LHA you need to consider:
- Will you be able to afford to pay the shortfall in your rent? Why not use our budget planner.
- Do you need to attend a money management workshop?
- Can you pay more on your rent account now to put your account in credit in preparation for April 2019?