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Housing benefit change on the cards in Autumn Statement

Private renters could see housing benefits increased in this week’s Autumn Statement, i reports.

It’s understood that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is weighing up whether to up the Local Housing Allowance, which hasn’t been increased since 2020.

Lora Bencheikh, group executive director, Caridon Property, is among many to call for an increase.

She said: “The government must unfreeze housing benefit rates to stop the exclusion of lower income tenants from the private rented housing market and prevent further homelessness.

“The combination of high inflation and soaring rental prices means the freeze on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates since April 2020 has effectively eroded the value of the financial support provided to people who qualify for housing benefit.

“The rising cost of living is making it impossible for some individuals and families to afford housing, and as a consequence there are rising rent arrears, evictions, homelessness and mental ill health.

“Whilst we understand that the rate of LHA is not an isolated issue; it forms part of the broader context of the housing crisis, which is complex and multifaceted, adjusting LHA rates to reflect the current economic climate and rising rental prices would be a step in the right direction.”

Charities like Crisis and Shelter have been making a number of high profile calls for the benefits cap to be increased, especially as inflation has skyrocketed since 2020.