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Local Housing Allowance

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Local Housing Allowance (LHA)  Information

 Older Information from the launch of LHA in 2008.

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Local Housing Allowance (LHA) information

Local Housing Allowance is a way of working out the eligible rent used in your Housing Benefit calculation if you are a private tenant. Your Housing Benefit will still be worked out on your income/savings and household

Your eligible rent will not be worked out under Local Housing Allowance Rules if you rent from the Council, a Housing Association, or live in a Caravan.

LHA applies to private sector tenants who make a new claim for Housing Benefit or those claiming Housing Benefit who change address. It also applies to tenants on Housing Benefit who move from the social sector into private sector accommodation.

The Local Housing Allowance rates are based on the people in your property not on the type of property you rent. It is a flat rate based on household size and location.

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Broad Market Area (BRMA)

A Broad Market Area (BRMA) was set by the Valuation Agency.  It is based on areas and normally identified by Postcodes. Corby is in the Northants Central BRMA, as is Kettering, Wellingborough and other areas of Northamptonshire.

The BRMA is the geographical area used to determine the LHA rate. The LHA is based where a person lives and takes into account access to facilities and services for the purposes of health, education, recreation, personal banking and shopping and also takes account of the distance of travel, by public and private transport, to and from these facilities and services.

 Link to BRMA Map

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Local Housing Allowance Rates

Local Housing Allowance rates in each Broad Market Area (BRMA) are set yearly every April by the Valuation Agency. They are then published by the Council.

For the purpose of establishing the Local Housing Allowance Rate, we have to work out the room level your family needs.

 You are entitled to one bedroom for:

  • Every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • Any other adult aged 16 or over
  • Any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • Any two children regardless of sex aged under 10
  • Any other child.
  • An overnight non-resident carer who meets qualifying rules
  • A disabled child who cannot share a room with another child.
  • Boarder or Subtenant (Lodger)
  • A Person under 22 years old who was in Social Services care or accommodation.
  • A person under 35 who qualifies for a Severe Disablement Premium in their Housing Benefit, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (income based) or Employment & Support Allowance income Related. (A Severe Disablement Premium is awarded when the person lives alone, does not have a carer and receives Middle or High Rate Care for Disability Living Allowance or the  Daily Living Component of Personal Independent Payments.

However if you share your accommodation you may only be entitled to a shared room rate unless you need more rooms for your family.

 If you are single, under 35, have no children and are not classified as severely disabled, YOU WILL BE entitled to a SHARED ACCOMMODATION rate, even if you do not share.

 There will be help for disabled people towards the cost of an extra bedroom if they have a proven need for overnight care and this is provided by a non-resident carer.

The maximum Local Housing Allowance rate you can receive is a 4 bedroom rate.

Rent Officers determine 5 different LHA rates for the following categories of property:

Shared accommodation (room in a shared property),

1 bedroom,

2 bedrooms,

3 bedrooms

and 4 bedrooms.

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Local Housing Allowance Room Calculator

Link to Local Housing Allowance Room Calculator

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Local Housing Allowance examples

Angela is 21 and has a 2 year old child. She is entitled to 2 bedrooms under LHA rules.

Tom is 78 and his grown-up non-dependant daughter lives with him. He is entitled to 2 bedrooms under LHA rules.

Garry is 28 and lives alone in his property. He is entitled to a shared room rate as he is under 35 years old.

Julie and William have 2 sons one aged 2 and one age 5, they have 2 daughters, one aged 12 and one aged 8. Julie’s father lives with them.  They are entitled to four bedrooms under LHA rules

Emily is 22 and lives alone in a flat. She gets high rate of Disability Living Allowance care, she has no carer and qualify for a Severe Disability Premium in her Housing Benefit and Employment & Support allowance. Emily is entitled to the one bedroom rate of LHA under the rules.

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Limits on Local Housing Allowance Rates Nationally

A limit was introduced on Local Housing allowance rates by the Government.

The limits are

£250  a week

One bedroom property rate (including shared accommodation)

£290 a week

Two bedroom property rate

£340 a week

Three bedroom property rate

£400 a week

Four bedroom property rate

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Payment of Housing Benefit (assessed under Local Housing Allowance)

Under Local Housing Allowance, customers will be paid directly, unless they are unable to take responsibility for the payment of rent. Each case will be assessed on its own merits under the Safeguard policy.

Request for Housing Benefit Payment By BACS

Safeguard Guidance

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Protections – 13 Week

Any claimant can have their full eligible rent for 13 weeks if the Rent is higher than the Local Housing Allowance for which they would qualify, if the Authority is satisfied that the claimant.

  • Was able to pay their rent when their tenancy began and
  • Had not previously been entitled to HB in the 52 week period before their claim.

This protection aims to help those who are ordinarily able to pay their rent but have fallen into difficulties, for example from losing a job.  This provides time to either find another job or to find cheaper accommodation. At End of 13 Week period the Local Housing Allowance rate will apply.

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Protections – 52 Week Protection on death

Where there is a death of a relevant person the claimant can be protected for a year from any decrease in their eligible rent.

For new claims, the Local Housing Allowance rate could be the total eligible rent .

For existing claims, the Local Housing Allowance rate would remain at the rate the day before the death, unless the Local Housing Allowance rate is higher after death.

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Discretionary Housing Payments

If you are struggling to pay the difference between your rent and the Housing Benefit you receive, you may apply for Discretionary Housing Payments.

Link to Discretionary Housing Payments

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Last updated: Thursday 1st April 2021 08:24:32 AM
Review date: Wednesday 30th June 2021 09:00:00 AM