Bishop of Durham asks about housing

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 27th April 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked Her Majesty’s Government, further to the rising cost of living, what plans they have, if any, to unfreeze Local Housing Allowance.

Baroness Stedman-Scott (Con): The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) determines the maximum housing support for tenants in the private rented sector. The level of LHA rates is reviewed annually by the Secretary of State.

In 2020-21, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we invested almost £1 billion in the LHA which meant 1.5 million households received an average increase of £600 more than they would otherwise have received.

LHA rates have been maintained at their increased levels rather than reverting to previous rates which were much less generous.

Those who need further financial help with their housing costs can seek assistance via the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) scheme. DHPs can be paid to those in receipt of qualifying housing support who face a shortfall in meeting their rental housing costs.

These payments are entirely at the discretion of the local authority and since 2011 the Government has provided almost £1.5 billion to local authorities for households who need additional support with their housing costs.


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