Impact of applying Local Housing Allowance rates to general needs social tenants

Our analysis shows the potential numbers of people affected and the amount of shortfall between benefit levels and rents charged.

8 August 2017

From April 2019, tenants in receipt of Universal Credit will have their benefit for housing costs capped at the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate.

Housing Benefit claims for tenants with new (from 2016) tenancies will also be restricted to the LHA rate. This restriction will include people over pension age. For people under 35, this cap will be set at the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) unless an exemption applies.

Our analysis shows the potential numbers of people affected by this measure and the amount of shortfall between benefit levels and rents charged.

The Department for Work and Pensions has not yet published regulations governing this measure and details may be subject to change, but housing associations and tenants should start preparing now to deal with the possible impact of the policy.

For supported and sheltered housing tenants it is intended that the LHA cap will apply to all tenants from 2019 when a new more localised system of funding for supported housing will be introduced.