On 22/11/2023, in the Autumn Statement, following tireless campaigining from the homelessness sector, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt finally announced that the Government was uplifting the Local Housing Allowance rate to the 30th percentile. Previously, the Government had frozen the LHA rate since April 2020.
Responding to the announcement, Homeless Link CEO Rick Henderson said:
“We are pleased that the Chancellor has finally listened to the repeated calls from our members in the homelessness sector and uplifted the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. It’s no secret that homelessness and rough sleeping are spiralling while local authority and charity services are buckling under the pressure. Raising LHA will at least mean people on low incomes have more breathing space, allowing them to access more affordable housing options while helping prevent homelessness caused by rent arrears.
“However, we are alarmed by the Government’s plans to increase the use of punitive welfare measures. Research shows benefit sanctions are disproportionately applied to people experiencing homelessness and are not effective in helping them into work.”