Local Housing Allowance and Homelessness - House of Commons, 24 July 2019

Our latest analysis demonstrates that homelessness support (including temporary accommodation) faces a funding gap of £110 million in 2019/20, and £421 million in 2024/25. There are currently 83,700 homeless households in need of temporary accommodation and other forms of support from local authorities.


Key messages

  • Homelessness is a tragedy for all those it affects and is one of the most visible signs of the nation’s housing crisis. Councils are providing temporary housing for over 83,000 households, including over 123,000 children.
  • Our latest analysis demonstrates that local authority homelessness support (including temporary accommodation) faces a funding gap of £110 million in 2019/20.ii Councils spend around £1.1 billion each year on homelessness.
  • The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is paid to low-income families in the private rented sector to help with high housing costs, but is often not sufficient. Termination of a private rented sector tenancy is now the single biggest cause of homelessness.
  • The LHA rate has been frozen by the Government since 2016, with the freeze due to end in 2020. An urgent decision is needed on the level of LHA beyond the next financial year, to give tenants some certainty.
  • It is vital that councils’ role in local welfare support is bolstered by greater funding and flexibilities. Councils have received almost £800 million in Discretionary Housing Payments since 2015, but there is no guarantee this funding will continue beyond 2020.iii
  • Councils want to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place. This means allowing councils to build more homes for people on low incomes. The Government should allow councils to retain 100 per cent of the proceeds from Right to Buy sales to invest in new social housing.
  • Local authorities face an overall funding gap of £3 billion next year, and £8 billion by 2024/25. Our #CouncilsCan campaign is calling on the Government to provide the funding, freedoms and legislative reform to enable councils to build healthy, prosperous, secure communities.

Download the full briefing
Local Housing Allowance and Homelessness - House of Commons, 24 July 2019