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Benefit cuts 'have made private renting unaffordable'
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Benefit cuts 'have made private renting unaffordable'

Analysis by the BBC in May 2019 revealed that the gap between rent and Local Housing Allowance (LHA) had more than doubled across most of the country since 2016.

LHA was introduced in 2008 and is used to calculate housing benefit for people in private rented accommodation.

About 860,000 households in England receive this benefit with a further 300,000 on the housing element of Universal Credit.

The rates they get vary from area to area and are compared with the lowest 30% of rents within the local rental market.

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Interviews and quotes

  • Krystyna and Geoff Boswell, recipients of LHA
  • Polly Neate, chief executive, Shelter
  • Jon Sparkes, chief executive, Crisis
  • John Stewart, policy manager, Residential Landlords Association
  • Spokeswoman, Government


  • Choropleth map: Local Housing Allowance: gap between benefit and private monthly rent on two-bed homes, by broad rental market area
  • Multiple bar chart: Areas with the biggest increase in shortfall (2016 vs 2019)
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