Tenancy Answers - Housing Benefit
Welcome, Guest
There are changes coming in April 2011 which will result in most Housing Benefit claimants suffering a reduction in their claim.
 
Currently, housing benefit is paid at a rate that is sufficient to rent 50% of properties in a specific area.  From April 2011, it will only be sufficient to rent the cheapest 30%.
 
Here is an example.  On 31st October 2010 we surveyed rental properties in 2 distinct areas - Sheffield S6 & London NW10.  We took a representative sample of 20 rents as shown:
 

Sheffield S6

London NW10

2 beds

 

1 bed

 

 

 

 

 

£ 166.15

 

£ 495.00

 

£ 150.00

 

£ 285.00

 

£ 150.00

 

£ 260.00

 

£ 150.00

 

£ 250.00

 

£ 144.23

 

£ 250.00

 

£ 138.46

 

£ 210.00

 

£ 138.46

 

£ 196.00

 

£ 132.69

 

£ 196.00

 

£ 126.92

 

£ 185.00

 

£ 126.92

 

£ 180.00

 

£ 126.92

2010 LHA £126.92

£ 180.00

2010 LHA £180

£ 126.92

 

£ 180.00

 

£ 121.15

 

£ 173.00

 

£ 121.15

 

£ 175.00

 

£ 115.38

2011 LHA £115.38

£ 150.00

2011 LHA £150

£ 115.15

 

£ 150.00

 

£ 109.62

 

£ 135.00

 

£ 106.15

 

£ 105.00

 

£ 103.85

 

£ 105.00

 

£ 100.38

 

£ 100.00

 

Based on the sample, the current LHA for a 2 bed property in Sheffield S6 would be £126.92 per week - enough to rent any of the properties with a yellow background - the bottom 50% of the available properties. 
 
However, come April 2011, that figure will be reduced to cover just those properties in bold on a yellow background - the bottom 30% giving an LHA of £115.38 - a drop of £11.54 or 9%.
 
Likewise in London NW10 our sample reveals a drop from £180 to £150 - a reduction of £30 or 16.6%.
 
This is a random sample on an arbitary day - if you live in S6 or NW10 your Housing Benefit is probably different to my figures and my sample does not indicate YOUR future LHA rates - but my example does illustrate how the calculations will be made, and they show that the reductions in LHA across the country will vary quite dramatically.