LHA Cuts will make Private Rental Sector Unaffordable for Thousands

05 January 2012 Categories: News

LHA Cuts will make Private Rental Sector Unaffordable for Thousands

The second round of LHA cuts are due to be introduced this week but research by the Chartered Institute of Housing has shown that the proposed cuts will make around 810,000 private rental properties around the UK too expensive for housing benefit tenants. To make matters worse a large proportion of the properties in question are already occupied by claimants of LHA, which means the tenants will now be faced with the option of paying the rent shortfall themselves or finding a new home.

London and the South East are predicted to be hardest hit with over 250,000 of the 810,000 properties lying within the region. Some London borough councils have already put together strategies to help those that can no longer afford their current home to move out, but none have devised a way to help struggling families.

A few councils have asked private landlords to lower their rents in line with the new LHA caps in return for receiving LHA payments direct, rather than through their tenants. Very few, if any, private landlords can afford to be so accommodating though, and so the New Year is set to see the demand/supply gap within the private rental sector widen even more.

Grania Long, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing commented “The only feasible option for many families who want to stay in their communities will be to borrow more or to spend less on essential items such as food. This could mean that more than 1.3 million private tenants face the New Year with dread, confronted with an uncomfortable prospect of homelessness or debt.”