In the 2010 Emergency Budget, the government announced a number of changes to Local Housing Allowance (LHA). Introduced by the previous government, LHA is the method by which rates of housing benefit paid to most tenants in deregulated private rented sector (PRS) housing are calculated.
The number of LHA households in London has increased significantly in recent years from 55,000 in November 2008 to 197,000 by the implementation of the majority of reforms to LHA in April 2011.
- Government expenditure on housing benefit has risen from £11bn in 1999/2000 to £20bn in 2009/10. The Department for Work and Pensions forecast this to rise to £25bn in 2015/16 with no reform.
- The number of housing benefit claimants in Great Britain increased by 300,000 to 4.95 million between January 2010 and December 2011 and according to The Building and Social Housing Foundation, 93% of that increase could be accounted for by households where at least one member was in work.
- The reforms to Local Housing Allowance are the only set of welfare reforms scheduled during this parliament to have already been implemented. A range of further reforms to the welfare system are due in 2013 including the first households moving onto the Universal Credit.
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