DWP to give £785 financial boost for millions of renters from April

The cost-of-living crisis is still present in the UK and many households are still struggling to make ends meet. The Government has announced a new scheme to help.

DWP £785 financial boost renters April
© Colin Watts / Unsplash
DWP £785 financial boost renters April

The UK has been in a cost-of-living crisis since 2021 and it doesn’t look like an end is near. As a result, the Government has been putting in place several schemes to help out those who are most struggling.

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Indeed, for several months, the Government put in place a special cost-of-living payment for households that were most in need. As the crisis continues, the Government has made a few changes to an existing scheme through the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The Government has made changes to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates, starting from April 1, 2024. Here’s everything you need to know.

Millions of Brits to receive a £785 financial boost

As per Express, thanks to the changes the Government has made to the LHA rates in 2024, millions of Brits who rent will receive on average a £785 financial boost.

The new changes mean that private renters who are receiving LHA benefits will receive the equivalent of 30% of the average going rate for rent in their area, signifying that the amount each household will receive depends on their location.

The LHA rates are determined every year by Rent Officers at the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), Rent Service for Scotland and Rent Officers Wales. During Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement, he announced that the LHA rates would be raised to the 30th percentile of local market rates in April 2024.

As reported by Express, the LHA rates are fixed within the Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA).

What are the average prices for LHA?

As mentioned above, the amount you receive in LHA benefits depends on your location. For example, if you live in Sheffield, you could get £80.55 a week for a one-bedroom place, but up to £218.63 for a four-bedroom home, as per Coventry Live.

The Government explained the following numbers:

Estimated number of households who will gain from an increase in LHA rates to the 30th percentile of local rents for 2024/25: 1,600,000. Estimated average annual gain for households who will gain from an increase in LHA rates to the 30th percentile of local rents for 2024/25: £785.

Who is eligible for LHA?

According to the Medway Council, you are eligible for LHA if you are on a low income, living in private rented property and claiming Housing Benefit for the first time. Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit, as per the Government website, however, you can only make a new claim if the following conditions apply:

  • You have reached State Pension age
  • You’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing.

You are not eligible for LHA if the following apply:

  • Are a council or housing association tenant
  • Have a tenancy that started before 1989
  • Live in a caravan, mobile home or houseboat
  • Live in supported housing provided by social landlords, charities or voluntary organisations who also provide care, support or supervision
  • Are a MHS homes tenant and your tenancy started before 1989.

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Sources used:

Express: ‘DWP to give millions of people £785 each from April in new benefit rates’

Coventry Live: ‘DWP to give millions of people average £785 boost from April’

Government website: ‘Housing Benefit’

Medway Council: ‘Local Housing Allowance’

Millions to see DWP payments increase due to major change in April Millions to see DWP payments increase due to major change in April