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Housing Benefits - Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance

Housing benefit payments are reducing - Don’t get caught out!

If you rent your home from a private landlord and receive Housing Benefit you must get help and advice now.

From January 2012 onwards many people will have their payments reduced and will be at risk of going into arrears and losing their home. Some people are at risk of losing up to £16 per week.

One bedroom is allocated for:

  • every adult couple
  • any other adult (aged 16 or over)
  • any two children of the same sex
  • any two children (regardless of sex) under the age of 10
  • any other child
  • A single person aged under 35 is allocated the shared room rate.

From the 1 January 2012 the Local Allowance Shared Room Rate which applies to most single people under 25 years of age will be extended to people aged under 35 years of age.

This means that single tenants under the age of 35 years old making a new claim on or after the 1 January 2012 will be entitled to the shared room rate rather than the one bedroom rate.

Existing customers will move to the shared room rate depending on when they originally claimed. The timing of when this will depend on specific circumstances and we will write to you to let you know how and when this will affect your benefit.

The shared room rate does not apply to single people who have a disability and qualify for the severe disability premium in the assessment of their Housing Benefit

To qualify for a severe disability premium the customer must be in receive one of the following benefits:

The middle or highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance. And No one must be receiving Carers Allowance in respect of them
You maybe exempt from the shared room rate if you are over the age of 25 years old and have left prison and your housing has been arranged under the Multi Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA)

Also you maybe exempt from the shared room rate if you are over 25 years old and have spent three or more months in a homeless hostel and received resettlement support.

Changes to the Housing and Council Tax Support schemes from April 2011

From 1 April 2011, the Government has made major changes to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) arrangements, including how the Local Housing Allowance rates are worked out. The main changes are:

  • Rent Officers will set LHA rates at the 30th percentile in each area, this is a reduction from the 50th percentile which is currently used. This means about 3 in 10 properties for rent in an area should be affordable to people on Housing Benefit rather than 5 in 10 properties as previously
  • abolished the five bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate. The four bedroom property rate is now the maximum payable
  • customers are no longer allowed to keep the £15 ‘top up’ payable on rents below the Local Housing Allowance
  • disabled customers who need overnight care may be able to claim for an extra room for a non-resident carer
  • have introduced a maximum weekly rate so that Local Housing Allowance weekly rates in any area cannot be more than:
    • £250 for a one bedroom property
    • £290 for a two bedroom property
    • £340 for a three bedroom property
    • £400 for a four bedroom property

These caps will probably only affect customers who live in London and especially in the centre of London.

People making new claims from 1 April 2011 will be affected straight away. Existing customers will normally be affected from the anniversary of their claim. They may be affected sooner if

  • there is a change in the size of their household that affects the size of dwelling they are entitled to, or
  • if they move.

For tenants who are already getting Housing Benefit, the amount received may change when the claim is reviewed after April 2011. The timing of when this will depend on specific circumstances and we will write to you to let you know how and when this will affect your benefit.

In addition, from April 2011, the Government has given Local Authorities more discretion to pay Housing Benefit directly to a landlord. However, we can only consider doing this in very specific circumstances where it would help the customer secure a new tenancy, or remain in their current home at a reduced rent.

If you or your tenant has moved into a property since April 2008, then you or your tenant will very likely be affected by these changes.

The scheme is designed to pay the same amount to tenants with similar circumstances living in the same area. The Rent Service has defined three areas within the Borough known as Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA). This will allow tenants to find out in advance how much support may be available towards their housing costs in a particular area of the Borough. Payment is usually paid directly to the tenants.

With effect from 1 August 2009 the North East Greater Manchester BRMA no longer exists, It has been replaced by two new BRMAs Tameside and Glossop and Oldham and Rochdale.

The tables below show the Local Housing Allowance rates from April 2014

Please note with effect from 1 April 2014 the rates for Local Housing Allowance will be set once a year. This will happen on 1 April.

Tameside and Glossop Area

Majority of Ashton, Mossley and Denton plus all of Stalybridge, Dukinfield, Audenshaw, Longdendale, and Hyde.

Number of bedrooms Category Weekly amount Monthly amount
Shared room rate A £57.69 £249.99
1 Bedroom B £86.54 £375.01
2 Bedrooms C £103.85 £450.02
3 Bedrooms D £126.92 £549.99
4 Bedrooms E 154.83 £670.93

Central Greater Manchester Area

Droylsden

Number of bedrooms Category Weekly amount Monthly amount
Shared room rate A £64.62 £280.02
1 Bedroom B £98.06 £424.93
2 Bedrooms C £115.37 £499.94
3 Bedrooms D £128.19 £555.49
4 Bedrooms E £184.62 £800.02

South Greater Manchester Area

Denton (Danebank area)

Number of bedrooms Category Weekly amount Monthly amount
Shared room rate A £55.62 £241.02
1 Bedroom B £101.24 £438.71
2 Bedrooms C £126.92 £549.99
3 Bedrooms D £145.94 £632.41
4 Bedrooms E £198.11 £858.48

Oldham and Rochdale Area

Small part of Mossley and Ashton (Postcodes OL5 OJL, OL5 0PL, OL5 0RN, OL5 9AB, OL5 9BN OL5 9BT, OL6 8AF, OL6 8AG, OL6 8AH, OL6 8AJ,OL6 8AL,OL6 8AN, OL6 8AP, OL6 8AQ, OL6 8AR, OL6 8AW and OL6 9AA)

Number of bedrooms Category Weekly amount Monthly amount
Shared room rate A £57.73 £250.16
1 Bedroom B £83.08 £360.01
2 Bedrooms C £98.08 £425.01
3 Bedrooms D £114.23 £495.00
4 Bedrooms E £150 £650

Notes

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for private tenants is worked out according to:

  • which area they live
  • who lives in the household
  • the total household income
  • the amount of savings

The following sets out the number of rooms used to calculate the amount of LHA payable dependant on who lives in the property:

One bedroom is allocated for:

  • every adult couple
  • any other adult (aged 16 or over)
  • any two children of the same sex
  • any two children (regardless of sex) under the age of 10
  • any other child

A single person aged under 25 is allocated the shared room rate.

The number of living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms is ignored in this calculation

Using these categories, the total number of rooms will determine the rate of LHA that a claimant will qualify for. This rate is then used to calculate your weekly Housing Benefit entitlement taking into account who lives with you, which area you live in, how much money you have coming in and what savings you have.

Please note: This article is only a guide. While we have tried to make sure that the information in this article is correct as at the publication date, the information may be subject to change.

Contact Information
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Revenues Division
Exchequer and Support Services
Tameside MBC
Council Offices
Wellington Road
Ashton under Lyne
OL6 6DL
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 3708
Contact by Fax
0161 342 2676/2012
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Page last updated: 2 June 2014