Average £800 boost if you receive Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, here’s how it works

An estimated 1.6 million people in the UK will benefit from increasing housing support in April.

Benefit claimants to receive £800 boost
© Toa Heftiba / UNSPLASH
Benefit claimants to receive £800 boost

Many Brits have been struggling with the increase in cost of living and now that we are in the depths of winter, this is becoming an even bigger problem. There are some government initiatives in place to help, including the Cold Weather Payments which are launched when the temperature hits zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days.

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Now, the DWP has announced that millions of households on Universal Credit or Housing Benefit will soon receive a boost of, on average, £800 to help cover costs.

How much will you receive?

Mel Stride, Work and Pensions Secretary, explained that ‘housing costs are the number one expense for families’. Local Housing Allowance rates are used to calculate Universal Credit and Housing Benefit payments for tenants renting from private landlords. Stride continued:

This £1.2billion boost to Local Housing Allowance, along with our landmark Back to Work reforms, reflects our fair approach to welfare – helping people into employment while protecting the most vulnerable with unprecedented cost of living support.

How much your LHS could increase depends on where you live. To give you an idea as to what you can expect, here are some estimations. Subject to the benefits cap, the DWP said eligible renters of:

  • A four-bedroom property in Bristol could get up to £1,850 per month
  • A two-bedroom property in Greater Glasgow could get up to £850 per month
  • A one-bedroom property in Leeds could get up to £675 per month

The boost could help tackle homelessness

This boost is part of the government’s plan to raise the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates in April 2024. The DWP has stated that this boost will help around 1.6 million private renters, with those who live in the most expensive areas seeing the largest increase. The LHA boost is, in turn, part of the government’s £104 billion cost of living support package. Other changes brought on as part of the package include raising benefits by 6.7%, increasing the state pension by 8.5%, and implementing £300 cost of living payments.

There are also hopes that the LHA increase will help to combat homelessness in the UK. Matt Downie, the chief executive at Crisis, said:

It cannot be understated just how vital this investment in housing benefit will be in helping to both prevent and end homelessness.

He added that ‘in recent years, people receiving Housing Benefit have found it increasingly difficult to afford the soaring cost of rents’:

We hope this investment will be maintained for the long term, so we can continue with our collective mission to end homelessness for good.

According to Crisis, more than 200,000 families in England experience homelessness on any given night in England alone.

Read more:

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DWP believes thousands could get up to £12,400 payment, check if you're on the list

Sources used:

Crisis: About homelessness

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