Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
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Local Housing Allowance
LHA Rates
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates were re-set to the maximum of the 30th percentile from 1st April 2020.

This means that the majority of LHA rates, which have, in the main, been frozen since 2015 increased so some claimants saw a dramatic increase in their HB / UC award.
Therese Coffey has stated that this is a "permanent uplift". 

New LHA Rates here:



NOTE: The increased LHA rates took effect in UC awards from the first Assessment Period that ended  on or after 6th April 2020. Whilst all other increases (apart from the increased Standard Allowance) took effect from the beginning of the first Assessment Period after 6th April 2020.



‘Everyone In’ initiative and exemption from the SAR
In August 2020 the DWP issues guidance to HB Offices that the exemption from the shared accommodation rate in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit on the basis of former residence in a homeless hostel may apply to those leaving hotels and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) used in the ‘Everyone In’ initiative in England (and similar provisions in Scotland and Wales) to accommodate homeless people and rough sleepers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

To be exempted the claimant will have to fulfill the other criteria and the re-purposed hotel / bed and breakfast that they were staying in under the 'Everyone In’ project will have to satisfy the strict definition of ‘hostel’. This means that provided the claimant is over 25 and satisfies the other conditions of the exemption they will be entitled to a one-bedroom LHA rate rather than the shared accommodation rate.

The DWP advise HB Offices that local provision may vary and they should consider the detail of the services and accommodation provided against the conditions of the exemption when deciding if the emergency accommodation was operated as a 'hostel'.


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