Stonewater and CIH comment on PM announcement on LHA cap

Commenting on a UK Government announcement that the Local Housing Allowance cap on housing benefit (due to enter into force for social tenants in April 2019) will no longer apply to the social housing sector, made by Prime Minister Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday, 25th October), CIH Scotland Policy and Practice Manager Ashley Campbell said:

“This change in policy by the UK Government is great news. CIH Scotland has consistently called for a rethink on UK Government plans to cap housing benefit for people living in supported housing at Local Housing Allowance rates, because it would have put homes for some of the most vulnerable people in our society at risk. The results of independent research we recently published in partnership with the Scottish Government clearly showed the full scale of the potential impact this policy would have on social tenants aged under 35 across Scotland. The government has clearly listened to widespread concerns here in Scotland and throughout the UK. We will await further details of the new funding proposals with interest.”

Nicholas Harris, chief executive of Stonewater, said:

“We welcome this announcement which follows the concerns expressed by so many in the sector – including ourselves – about the potential consequences of capping housing benefit in the social housing sector at the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for residents, particularly for vulnerable people living in sheltered and supported housing.

“We now await the full details of the funding proposals for supported housing next week and will continue to emphasise the need for a solution which ensures the sustainability of supported and specialist housing services, providing homes for those in greatest need.”