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Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Calculating your Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a maximum flat rate allowance decided by the Rent Service and based on the broad geographical areas across the whole of Shropshire. This area is referred to as the Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA).

With the LHA, your Housing Benefit is worked out according to where you live (BRMA), who lives with you and what type of accommodation you are renting.

To calculate the size criteria you need to count one bedroom each for the following people:

  • Every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • Any other adult aged 16 or over
  • Any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • Any two children aged under 10
  • Any other child
Example
Household Bedrooms
Family A - Couple with one child 2
Family B - Single parent with a girl aged 6 and a boy aged 8 2
Family C - Couple with a girl aged 6 and a boy aged 12 3
Family D - Single parent with a boy age 17 and boy age 12 3
Family E - Couple with girls age 17 and 14 and boy age 9 4

This is up to a maximum of four bedrooms. For further information regarding the maximum number of rooms that can be taken into account please view the 'Changes to Local Housing Allowance' page.

Single people aged 25 years and over and couples with no children
Single people aged 25 years and over or a couple with no children can get the one bedroom LHA but only if they rent a property that is self contained. This means that the accommodation has its own bathroom/toilet and kitchen. If the property is not self contained they will be entitled to the shared accommodation rate of LHA only.

If you are aged under 35
If you share the accommodation with anyone else other than your family, you must use the shared room rate. You must also use this rate if you are single and aged under 25 with no children. Please note that from the 1 January 2012 this will be changing to under 35.

The government have now laid regulations which will limit the amount of Housing Benefit that can be paid to single people under the age of 35.

The new regulations take effect from 1st January 2012, and the change will apply to all new Local Housing Allowance claims from 1 January 2012. The limit already applies to single people under the age of 25.

What does the change mean to me?
The change means that if you live in the private rented sector and are single and under the age of 35 you will have your Housing Benefit worked out based on the Shared Accommodation Rate of Local Housing Allowance which is currently £61.50 per week. This is the maximum that you will get.

If your rent is less than the Shared Accommodation Rate, your Housing Benefit will be worked out using the rent that you pay.

If you don't currently get maximum Housing Benefit, because your income exceeds the income limit that you can have and still get the maximum amount of Housing Benefit, then will also get less than the Shared Accommodation Rate.

If you live in shared accommodation already you will already have your benefit worked out using the Shared Accommodation Rate and so will not be affected by the change.

When will the change happen?
If you are single and aged between 25 and 35 and are already receiving Housing Benefit on 1 January 2012 you will have your benefit recalculated during 2012.

If you:

  • Make a new claim or
  • Have a break in your current claim or
  • Change address.

After 1 January 2012 the change will affect you straight away.

If you claim before 1 January 2012 and don't change address or break your claim your benefit will be reviewed the next time your Local Housing allowance is reviewed.

We will write to you to tell you when the change is likely to happen to you, or you can contact us and we will be able to tell you.

Does the change apply to everyone under 35?
Not all 25 to 34 year olds will be affected by the change.

The change does not affect you if you have:

  • A partner who lives with you or
  • A child (or children) who lives with you or
  • A non resident carer who regularly stays with you overnight to provide care or
  • Another adult living with you as part of your household (for example an adult son or daughter, or someone who pays you board or rent to live in your home).

The change may also not affect you:

  • If you get the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or higher rate and no one receives carers allowance for you or
  • If you are a care leavers under the age of 22 or
  • If you over 25 and are an subject to active multi-agency management under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements or
  • If you are over 25 and a former rough sleeper or have spent more than 3 months in a homeless hostel.

Please let us know if you think that any of these apply to you.

Last updated 26/03/2014

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Benefits Team

Address: Telford & Wrekin Council
Addenbrooke House
Ironmasters Way
Telford
TF3 4NT

Tel: 01952 383838

Fax: 01952 383991

Email: benefit.service@telford.gov.uk

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