Research by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) into Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates has concluded that rates are being set too low in some areas, severely restricting the amount of housing available to benefit claimants.
LHA rates are supposed to reflect the lowest 30% of the private rented sector homes in the area. But the CIH research shows that in some areas tenants are only able to afford the bottom 10% of the local market.
Please tell me something I didn’t know! And it will only get worse given the government as frozen LHA levels for the next four years.
At its Welsh conference this week, the CIH said that in Newport the LHA shared room rate is £29 per week below the bottom 30th percentile of the market. In Methyr Cynon it is £30 per week too low for family-sized homes.
In Brighton and Hove, LHA for a one bed flat is £612 per month. The average one bed flat is around £970 per month. Less than 1% of one bed flats in the private rented sector in the city are now within LHA levels.
What happens when people just can’t afford to live anywhere?