On 17th & 18th October 2017 the Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, received answers to two written questions on housing affordability and homelessness:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester:
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the private rented sector is affordable to those on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the freeze on Local Housing Allowance on levels of homelessness in England.
(i) Baroness Buscombe: This information is not available. Affordability is dependent on many factors, for example rent levels in the area the claimant lives, the size of their household and other sources of income they may receive in addition to their housing benefit or universal credit entitlement.
(ii) Baroness Buscombe: We have made no assessment of the impact of the policy to freeze Local Housing Allowance rates upon levels of homelessness. There is no clear evidence to suggest that the policy is contributing to increased homelessness. Further the latest statistics show that the number of homelessness acceptances in England has decreased slightly over the past year and the figures are very similar to the homelessness acceptances when the freeze commenced.