For whose benefit? - A study monitoring the implementation of local housing allowance

By: Alexandra Frost, Sarah Corker, Liam Reynolds, Francesca Albanese  Published: December 2009


This report presents the findings of a major survey investigating the experiences of 453 local housing allowance (LHA) claimants. Along with evidence from other studies, the findings provide the basis for proposals of how policy related to LHA should be reformed to ensure the system works for claimants, landlords and local authorities and meets the Government’s original policy aims for LHA.

Summary

The research highlights a number of issues for LHA claimants that have become apparent since the system was rolled out across the country. Although claimants have reported finding the new system fairer and easier to understand than the old housing benefit system, overall LHA claimants are struggling to cope financially and to access a home they can afford.

Shelter is supportive of the principles underpinning LHA, but there are problems with the system that need to be addressed to make it efficient, fair and fit for purpose.

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