There are important changes to Local Housing Allowance from 1 April 2011. These changes will affect people getting Housing Benefit, who pay rent to a private landlord.
Who is affected?
If you rent from Eastbourne Homes Limited or from a Housing Association such as Raglan Housing Association or Places for People you may be affected by changes to:
Non-Dependant Deduction increases from April 2011
Discretionary Housing Payment changes
Working and Child Tax Credit changes or
Child Benefit changes.
If you are renting from a Letting Agents such as Property Rentals or Tenant Property Lettings you will be affected in the same way as renting from a private landlord.
If you are considering renting from a private landlord and you are making a new claim for Housing Benefit, your claim will decided under the Local Housing Allowance rules.
All of these changes will apply to you from 1 April 2011:
- LHA Rates will be based on the new lower calculated rates
- LHA Excess payments or top-up payments will stop
- LHA Rates will only pay up to the 4-Bedroom rate
- LHA Rates will be limited to National absolute caps of up to £400 per week (this will not affect you if you claim in Eastbourne)
- For disabled people an Additional Bedroom can be allowed for a non-resident carer/s
If you are currently claiming Housing Benefit, most of the changes are likely to affect the amount of money you get to help pay your rent. If your Housing Benefit claim started before 1 April 2011, you may have more time before these changes apply to you.
If you currently receive Housing Benefit based on Local Housing Allowance and:
Your Housing Benefit will be calculated on the new lower calculated rates from the date of change.
In all other cases where you currently receive Housing Benefit based on Local Housing Allowance, you will be entitled to 'transitional protection'.
'Transitional Protection' means your claim may not change to the new lower rates until nine months after your first 'anniversary date' of your claim after 1 April 2011. The earliest possible date this can be is January 2012.
Your 'Anniversary date' is exactly 1 year on from the date you first claimed Housing Benefit.
Each year we review the Local Housing Allowance on your 'Anniversary date' and then move the anniversary date on by one year.
We will write to you before these changes affect you.
If you need further help and advice on the April Changes, please contact the Benefit Team.