Teaching and Learning

Housing Benefit & Local Housing Allowance

Housing benefit is the name for money paid by the Council to help people on low incomes pay their rent if they are living in council housing or a housing association property.

If you are a private tenant renting property or a room from a private landlord and you’re on a low income – you may be able to get local housing allowance (LHA). The amount of housing benefit or LHA you can get if you are a single person aged under 35 with no children is restricted.

Most single people between 16 and 34 who rent in the private sector and claim LHA will only get help up to the average cost of a single room in shared accommodation in the area. This means that if you have limited cash and you rent a property, you may have to make up the difference yourself.

If working age council or housing association tenants are deemed to have a property that has too many bedrooms for the size of their household, the amount of housing benefit they can receive is restricted. This is sometimes known as the ‘bedroom tax’. If you are considered to have one spare bedroom, your housing benefit will be cut by 14% and two or more spare bedrooms, 25%.

A separate bedroom is allowed for:

  • Each adult couple
  • Each other person over 16
  • Two children under 10, regardless of the their sex
  • Two children of the same sex under 16
  • Any other child

There are some exceptions to this rule, for example, if your children cannot share a room due to a disability, or you need an extra room for an overnight carer. For more information on the bedroom tax, go to www.gov.uk/housing-benefit/what-youll-get. If you’re affected by the bedroom tax but think one of exceptions may apply, contact Shelter Cymru for further advice.

You can also click here to visit the relevant Shelter Cymru Advice online page.

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