Housing Benefit Emma Smith – housing strategy officer Norwich City Council
Introduction • HB current performance • HB changes from April 2011 • What the changes mean to you • Useful links
HB – current performance • Average time to process new claims: • 2010/11 cumulative to January 17.49 days • Average time to process changes: • 2010/11 cumulative to January 8.88 days
HB changes from April 2011 • What are the changes for tenants renting in the private sector? • There will no longer be a five bedroom Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. The maximum level customers can get is for a four bedroom property.
HB changes from April 2011 • There will be a maximum rate cap, so that LHA weekly rates in any area cannot be more than below: • £250 for a one bedroom property • £290 for a two bedroom property • £340 for a three bedroom property • £400 for a four bedroom property
April 2011 changes • This cap is not expected to affect Central Norfolk & Norwich broad rental market area (BRMA) as LHA rates are below these thresholds. • The table shows the LHA rates for December and January against the proposed caps.
April 2011 changes * Weekly rates are for Central Norfolk & Norwich BRMA
April 2011 changes • LHA rates will be set at 30th percentile of market rents instead of current 50th percentile. • Examples of 30th percentile for January from the tracker on VOA website is given below or you can visit LHA Direct website at: http://www.voa.gov.uk/lhadirect/LHA_percentile_rates.htm
April 2011 changes * % of claimants for Norwich City Council district not BRMA
What the changes mean to you • The amount of HB that your tenants get may go down. • For those tenants who are already getting HB, the amount they get may change when we review their claim after 2011. • The timing of when this will affect your tenants benefit will depend on their specific circumstances and we will write to let them know how and when they will be affected. • The Government has given us more discretion to pay HB directly to you. However, we can only consider doing this in very specific circumstances where it would help a customer secure a new long term tenancy or remain in their current home at a reduced rent.
Useful links • www.propertyinfopoint.co.uk • www.direct.gov.uk • www.lha-direct.voa.gov.uk • http://www.voa.gov.uk/lhadirect/LHA_percentile_rates.htm
Contact Us Emma Smith - housing strategy officer ( 01603 212937 • firstname.lastname@example.org