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Local Housing Allowance

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimates his Department has made of the impact of changing the size criteria for determining the local housing allowance to one based solely on bedroom entitlement on (a) the percentage of claimants facing a shortfall between their eligible and contractual rent and (b) the average size of that shortfall. (96138)

Any shortfall between the local housing allowance and contractual rent at the time of national roll-out of the local housing allowance will depend on the trends in local rent levels and the accommodation choices made by tenants. The trends in local rent levels up to the point of national roll-out are currently hard to predict and local housing allowance rates will vary across local private rent sector markets and different sizes of property.

However, given the information currently available, we estimate the bedroom-only size criteria could result in losses of around two a week for small households, while three quarters of larger households are estimated to gain from the new size criteria.