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Housing Allowance

Volume 676: debated on Monday 11 May 2020

What assessment she has made of the adequacy of levels of local housing allowance during the covid-19 outbreak. (902430)

In April, in response to covid-19, we introduced increased local housing allowance rates for housing benefit and universal credit claimants to the 30th percentile of local rents, providing additional support for private renters. This significant investment cost almost £1 billion and ensures that more than 1 million households will see an increase, on average, of £600 per year.

Thousands of families in Britain are at risk of being pushed into homelessness as a result of this crisis. What urgent steps is the Minister taking to ensure that the most vulnerable will not lose their homes as a result of the covid-19 outbreak, at a time when there is no option to find cheaper accommodation to move to?

Over and above the measures introduced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, we have increased universal credit and working tax credits by more than £1,000 a year, and increased the local housing allowance rates. In this respect, in southern Greater Manchester, which covers Stockport, the two-bedroom LHA has been increased by £76 a month—£900 a year—and the four-bedroom rate in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency has increased by over £200 a month. That extra £6.5 billion going into our welfare system is supporting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society.