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RLA: Lifting the freeze on housing allowance is not enough

Government plans to end the freeze on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will still leave many tenants unable to afford their rent, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has claimed. 

The LHA was introduced in 2008 and is used to calculate housing benefit for those in private rented accommodation.

Prior to 2016 it was based on enabling a tenant to afford to rent in their area.

From April, the government will increase LHA by inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

But because it has been frozen since 2016, the RLA has claimed a rise of 1.5% will not give tenants much help.

John Stewart, policy manager for the RLA, said: “The benefit level needs to reflect the realities of the level of rents locally.

“Given rents have risen by an average of 5%, and in some areas more than that over the past four years, a rise of 1.5% in the benefit level is not going to be much help to a tenant struggling to afford the rent in those areas and many others.

“If it really wants to help tenants, the government should restore the direct link between rent levels and the LHA instead of a paltry flat rate increase.”

 

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