Monitoring the impact of changes to the Local Housing Allowance system of Housing Benefit: summary

Document type
Summary
Author(s)
Beatty, Christina; Cole, Ian; Powell, Ryan
Publisher
DWP
Date of publication
1 May 2013
Series
Research summary; 838
Subject(s)
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Housing and Homelessness
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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This is a summary of the interim report from the independent review, commissioned by the DWP, on the recent changes to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) system of Housing Benefit (HB), covering the private rented sector (PRS) in Great Britain (GB). This report covers findings from five elements – face-to-face interviews with claimants, landlords and front-line housing and benefits advisors, in addition to spatial and econometric analyses of the impact of the changes. The spatial and econometric analyses are based primarily on national-level administrative data. The interviews are based in 19 case study areas in GB – it is not possible therefore to generalise from the interview findings to assume they represent an accurate national picture of the impact of the LHA measures.

Overall, the research into the early impacts of the LHA reforms shows that the main effects have been geographically limited. The impact is far more marked in the London housing market than elsewhere. The on-flows of LHA claimants at local authority level since the reforms have reduced most sharply in the London central areas, reflecting the wider gap between average rents and LHA rates in these boroughs. The anticipated displacement of existing LHA households in these areas has not yet taken place.

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