Dan Peters 16 October 2023

LGA warns Hunt over housing allowance rates

LGA warns Hunt over housing allowance rates image
Image: MIND AND I / Shutterstock.com.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned chancellor Jeremy Hunt he will force more into homelessness unless he ends a three-year freeze on housing rental benefits.

Senior figures from 19 bodies, including the LGA, wrote to Mr Hunt, urging him to increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in the Autumn Statement next month.

LHA rates, which is paid to people who qualify for housing benefit but rent in the private sector, have been frozen since April 2020 despite soaring rental prices, the cost of living crisis and high inflation.

The letter read: ‘At a time of high inflation and rising rents, the LHA freeze is not only resulting in renters of all ages (including thousands in work) losing their homes as their rents rise, it is then leaving them unable to find another, even with the council’s help, because there are no available homes that are genuinely affordable.

‘Consequently, there has been a dramatic increase in homelessness and rough sleeping, with the highest number of households homeless in temporary accommodation ever recorded, and a 26% rise in the number of people sleeping rough.’

The nine-strong group of regional local authority chief executives is also understood to have privately lobbied for LHA rates to increase in a recent meeting with senior Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities officials.

This article was originally published by The MJ (£).

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