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The Local Housing Allowance

The Local Housing Allowance

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The Local Housing Allowance

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Presentation Transcript

  1. The Local Housing Allowance

  2. Introduction • Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Key factors • Consultation • Helping landlords manage payments • Citizens Advice Bureau • Vulnerability • Bank accounts • Early indications

  3. LHA Key factors • Weekly LHA rates set monthly • Claimants needs • Claimant keeps excess rent • Claimant can choose how payments are made to them • Blackpool is using a PHASED approach to implement LHA

  4. Consultation • Local Housing Allowance information • Landlord consultation meetings • Stakeholder Consultation meeting

  5. Helping Landlords manage payments • Landlord Schedules • Direct to tenant details • 8 Weeks arrears • The Authority must be notified that arrears exist • The Authority will try to confirm with tenant • Once confirmed, payment will be made to landlord • Under 8 weeks • The Authority must be notified that arrears exist • The Authority will try to confirm with tenant • Payments suspended until situation resolved • Large payments • First payments of over 2 weeks will be made to the tenant in the landlord’s name • Last two week payment • The Authority will try to confirm non payment to landlord with tenant • Once confirmed, payment will be made to landlord

  6. Citizens Advice Bureau • Extra resource • 3 staff dedicated to LHA • Based in the Benefits office • Debt and budgeting advice • Free • Full service

  7. Vulnerability • The definition • LHA claimant “….is likely to have difficulty in managing his affairs” • Identifying vulnerable claimants • Liaison with large support organisations • Sending letters before conversion

  8. Bank Accounts • All local banks visited • Bank advice leaflet sent to all tenants • Citizen Advice Bureau Before LHA 12% of tenants – BACS Currently 68% of LHA claimants - BACS

  9. Early indications • 9,500 Private tenant cases • 7,500 will eventually be converted to LHA • 17/11/03 to 1/6/04 = 4,388 LHA cases • Vulnerability • 9% of LHA cases have payments made direct to landlord • 4% of LHA cases have associated arrears issues • Converted cases • Before LHA, eligible rent was 86% of average Gross rent • Average LHA is 96% of average Gross rent