Preventing homelessness through improving Local Housing Allowance

Poverty Picture of key
ProjectsJanuary 18th, 2021

Changes to the social security system have greatly reduced the help with housing costs available to households without children: Local Housing Allowance (LHA) has been limited to the cheapest rents for many years, while under-35 year olds are only entitled to the shared accommodation rate. These changes have been identified as contributing to the increase in homelessness with homelessness amongst households without children in Wales rising by 12% between 2016/17 and 2018/19.

The housing system worsens the impact of LHA reform, for example through the shortage of accommodation and high local rent levels, and by landlord practices such as requirements for bonds, service charges, debt and affordability checks. Changes to the level of LHA therefore need take place alongside changes to the wider housing system if they are to prevent and relieve homelessness. With significant power over the housing system devolved to Wales there may be an opportunity to put part of the system right.

Project Aims

Our project will aim to:

  • prevent homelessness in Wales by better understanding the impact of LHA reform and its interface with the Welsh housing system
  • develop solutions to the issues we identify and campaign for reform. 

Funder Lloyds Bank Foundation Logo

The project is funded by the Lloyd’s Bank Foundation. We are grateful to the Foundation for their support.  The project runs from January 2021 to March 2022.

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