Social housing and changes to housing benefit

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I read in the Daily Mirror recently that from April 2016 social housing rent will be capped at the same rate as private rent. So for example the local council LHA rate for a 2 bedroom house is £97 so the maximum housing benefit you could receive for a 2 bedroom social housing accommodation is £97 too?
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  • vlad
    vlad Posts: 544 Forumite
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    Most social rents are well below private rents, but I understand what you say to be true.
  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,951 Forumite
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    how would that affect the spare room subsidy then?
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
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    I read in the Daily Mirror recently that from April 2016 social housing rent will be capped at the same rate as private rent. So for example the local council LHA rate for a 2 bedroom house is £97 so the maximum housing benefit you could receive for a 2 bedroom social housing accommodation is £97 too?

    That affects very few social housing tenants.

    The only ones I see that would be affected are people living in accommodation that has had alterations to make it fully accessible for someone who was disabled and who has now left the property for whatever reason. The remaining tenant would be liable for higher rent. If HB nows pays LHA rates then they lose out.

    For 99% of social housing tenants it makes no difference.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,951 Forumite
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    i have a friend that lives in a 2 bed social housing flat.
    the 1 bed LHA is £84 a week.
    her rent is £110, so she already pays 14 herself.
    does this mean she will have to pay the total difference between the 1 bed LHA and her actual rent?
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
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    nannytone wrote: »
    i have a friend that lives in a 2 bed social housing flat.
    the 1 bed LHA is £84 a week.
    her rent is £110, so she already pays 14 herself.
    does this mean she will have to pay the total difference between the 1 bed LHA and her actual rent?

    Eventually, yes. There will be transitional protection and she ca apply for discretionary housing benefit whilst looking for somewhere cheaper although you know as well as me that 1 bedroom properties at or under the LHA rate are very rare. Most properties in my area seem to be a minimum of 2 bedrooms.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,951 Forumite
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    i live in a small market town. there are a handful of 1 bed private lets that are all priced around the £110 a week mark.
    i am lucky enough to live in one of only two 1 bed social housing properties.

    what do they expect people to do?
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
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    nannytone wrote: »
    i live in a small market town. there are a handful of 1 bed private lets that are all priced around the £110 a week mark.
    i am lucky enough to live in one of only two 1 bed social housing properties.

    what do they expect people to do?

    If of working age get a job?

    If old enough claim pension credit and use some of it to pay the difference between rent charged and LHA rate.

    If unable to work claim ESA and use the higher payment to pay the difference in rent.

    If possible take in a lodger?

    I know what you're saying though I pay £475 per month for a 2 bedroom flat and LHA rate for a 1 bedroom property is £353.50 per month. The difference has to come from somewhere.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • nannytone_2
    nannytone_2 Posts: 12,951 Forumite
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    shes a carer to her mother ... she is actually rarely at the flat because her mum needs so much care, but she can't move in with her mum, because although her mum has a spare bedroom, it is sheltered housing.
    when her mum dies, she would have to move out.

    just seems that this with a spare room ( not through choice) will be doubly penalised.
    once by the lowering to LHA rate, and again by a further 14% loss because of the spare room subsidy.
  • superbigal36
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    Mother could move in with her.
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
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    Mother could move in with her.

    That wouldn't be in sheltered housing though. Sheltered housing does offer many advantages.

    Although DD can move in temporarily into the sheltered housing property as Nannytone says they'd have to move out if Mum were to pass away...and quite quickly too. Is it 14 days or 30 days...I know it's not very long. Social housing might not have any suitable vacant properties so they might end up in an insecure private rental property and asked to move on again in a couple of years. Very stressful and multiple stress events so close to each other might affect her mental health.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
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