What is Local Housing Allowance
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) has changed the way we pay Housing Benefit for tenants in privately rented accommodation (not including tenants in Housing Association properties or in Bed and Breakfast Accommodation).
LHA is based on rent levels for the area in which a person lives and on how many people live with them. Stafford Borough Council is currently covered by three BRMA's: Mid Staffs, Staffordshire North and Salop. You can use the LHA website to find which BRMA covers your postcode/address and what the LHA rate would be for that area.
Payment will be made by BACS and will normally be made to the tenant. It is therefore important that you have a bank or building society account that the payments can be sent to. If you do not have an account you will need to open one.
For those tenants who may have difficulty in managing their affairs we will consider paying benefit directly to their landlords in accordance with our safeguard policy (pdf 735kb). If you believe you are vulnerable and would prefer to have your benefit paid directly to your landlord you will need to contact the benefit service.
The Local Housing Allowance rates from April 2020 are
If you have any other queries relating to Local Housing Allowance please call 01785 619478.
Please use this link to access your Bedroom Entitlement Calculator.
Shared room rate
Under Local Housing Allowance rules, single people aged under 35 with no children are normally assumed to be living in shared accommodation.
This means the maximum amount single people aged under 35 (with no dependants) can get is set in relation to the cost of renting a room in a shared house or flat, rather than the cost of renting a self-contained property.
Couples and single people aged 35 or over
If you are single and aged 35 or over, or, you are a couple, you are entitled to the single bedroom rate of Local Housing Allowance.
However, you may not get the single bedroom rate of LHA if you share some or all of the facilities in the property you rent. In this case the shared accommodation rate applies.
Who is not affected by the shared room rate?
You will receive the higher one bedroom rate of benefit, not the shared room rate, if you:
- rent from a local authority or housing association.
- are aged under 22 and have been in care.
- live in supported housing provided by a housing association, registered charity, voluntary organisation or a county council (in England).
- get the severe disability premium in your benefit because you are entitled to the middle or higher rate care component of the Disability Living Allowance.
- need an extra bedroom for a carer who provides you with the overnight care you need but who doesn’t normally live with you.
- have spent at least three months in a homeless hostel or; hostel specialising in rehabilitating and resettling within the community. To benefit from this exemption you need to have been offered and accepted support services to enable you to be rehabilitated or resettled in the community.
- are managed under active multi-agency management under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements.