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Preventing Homelessness through improving the Local Housing Allowance

January 18th 2021

The aim of our project is to help to campaign to prevent homelessness by changing the level of LHA and by improving its interface with the Welsh housing system.

Summary of projectA man standing in the front door of his home

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. We will develop solutions to the issues we identify and campaign for reform. In doing so we will put the lived experiences of people experiencing homeless or who are vulnerably housed at the fore.

FunderLloyds Bank Foundation Logo

The project is funded by the Lloyd’s Bank Foundation. We are grateful to the Foundation for their support.

Duration

January 2021 to March 2022

 

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