Thank you for contacting me about the Local Housing Allowance.
Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the Government has acted swiftly to protect renters and ensure that those who need it are able to access support and remain in their homes.
The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate has been increased to the 30th percentile of local market rents for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants and I welcome that this increase will be maintained in cash terms in the next financial year. This means that 30 per cent of properties in each broad rental market area across England, Scotland and Wales are now within the LHA rate. This change will directly benefit over a million households who will see an increase in support of on average £600.
Action was also taken to suspend evictions during the first national lockdown. Government guidance is also clear that landlords should provide support to tenants who may be experiencing financial difficulties.
Since the start of the pandemic almost 15,000 rough sleepers have been offered accommodation and a taskforce has been created to support rough sleepers into long-term accommodation. I welcome that the Spending Review is providing almost £700 million in funding next financial year to end rough sleeping and address homelessness, taking us one step closer to the commitment to ending rough sleeping by the end of the Parliament. £670 million is also being provided to reduce people's council tax bills, following the £500 million already provided for this year.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.