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Local Housing Allowances

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the impact of changing the definition for determining the local housing allowance from the mid point of local rents to the median on the (a) percentage of claimants subject to the single room rate/shared room rent restriction who face a shortfall between their eligible and contractual rent and (b) average size of that shortfall. (110649)

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. This is true for all claimants, including those single under 25-year-olds without dependants who are subject to the local housing allowance shared room rate.

However, we estimate that overall, the majority of all new claimants at rollout will gain under the proposed national local housing allowance compared to what they would have been entitled to under the current housing benefit rules.