London Councils welcomes coronavirus emergency measure on housing benefit

London Councils has welcomed the government announcement that Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates will be increased to 30% of local market rents as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A London Councils spokesperson said: “The government has made the right call. Raising Local Housing Allowance is a big step forward in preventing homelessness.

“Boroughs are concerned the combination of Covid-19’s economic impact and London’s severe housing pressures still threatens a spike in homelessness – but this decision will help keep many Londoners secure in their homes.

“In London, we face the worst homelessness crisis in the country and inadequate LHA rates have been a key factor behind growing numbers of private sector tenants falling into arrears and losing their homes.

“Our research last year found 45% of the 200,000 Londoners claiming LHA did not receive enough to cover their rent. Only 8% of private sector rents across the capital are covered by current LHA rates.”

London Councils recently called on ministers to enact swift measures aimed at tackling housing insecurity and improving support for the homeless during the coronavirus emergency.

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