Leader urges Chancellor to raise Local Housing Allowance to ease pressure on residents
21 November 2023
Richmond Council has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, calling on the government to unfreeze the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and raise it to at least 30% of local market rents.
Signed by the Council’s Spokesperson for Housing, Cllr Jim Millard and Leader of the Council, Cllr Gareth Roberts, the letter to the Chancellor calls on the government to take action ahead of the Autumn Statement to relieve the financial burden on councils and residents.
LHA rates – which determine the maximum amount of support for their rent that low-income private renters can get – have been frozen since April 2020.
From the letter:
“As Leader of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, I want to express the council's grave concern about the role the continuing freeze on Local Housing Allowance is playing in rapidly growing homelessness presentations in the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames.
“An estimated 1 in 13 private renters in the borough rely on LHA to cover housing costs but just 0.9% of rental properties in our borough fall within current LHA levels. With homeless presentations soaring, and a temporary accommodation emergency across London putting huge pressure on Council finances and the ability of the Council to procure temporary accommodation in or near the borough, we join the growing calls urging you to end the freeze on LHA rates, restoring them to cover at least 30% of local market rents.
“As London Councils have convincingly set out, increasing LHA is the single fastest way that the government could help reverse the deeply concerning rise in homelessness in London, and across the country, and relieve the massive pressure building on councils’ homelessness services.”
Up to: November 2023
Updated: 21 November 2023