London pensioner can have 5 bedrooms: in Hull it’s not even 1

The Tories LHA Maxima Cap policy for general needs social housing means a pensioner in central London can have 4 or more spare bedrooms that the taxpayer will pay for in Housing Benefit.

By contrast the taxpayer will not even pay the full Housing Benefit for a 1 bedroom property for a pensioner couple in Hull as those pesky things called FACTS prove and I detail below.

The LHA Maxima Cap policy

The social tenant household will have their housing benefit (HB) limited to the local applicable Local Housing Allowance or LHA rate based on their ‘housing need’ for bedrooms.

A single person or couple are entitled to 1 bedroom and so they will receive the local 1 bed LHA rate.  There are 152 LHA rates in England for a 1 bed housing need that range from £69.92 per week in Hull up to £260.64 pw in Central London.

NB The LHA Maxims Cap applies to the pensioner

So the LHA Maxima Cap policy means that a pensioner couple in Hull can receive a maximum of £69.92 pw in HB yet that couple in Central London can receive up to £260.64 pw in HB.

What are the 1 bed rent levels in social housing?

The official figure were published in December 2016 by DCLG the government department for housing and the table is below.

 

average-rents-srs-201516

Table 2C above from the official figures gives average social housing rents by number of bedrooms in the English regions and in London.  It also drills down by average rent charged by PRP (Private Registered Providers aka housing associations) and by councils (LA is Local Authority) and then an average of the two under the heading “Social Rent Total”

This reveals an average 1 bed social rent in the English Regions outside of London to be £78 per week and in London an average of £101 per week.

So the pensioner couple in Hull living in a 1 bed social housing property will get just £69.92 per week towards this £78 per week rent and have a shortfall to make up and, note well they are fully occupying the property and do not have spare bedrooms

Yet the pensioner couple in London can receive up to £260.64 per week as their maximum Housing Benefit and so they can live in a 4 bed at an average rent of £154 per week and have no shortfall AND the taxpayer pays for them to have 3 spare bedrooms

In fact the 5 bed social housing level is unlikely to be over £100 per week more than the 4 bed social housing level and so the pensioner couple in London could have 4 spare bedrooms and even more!

What are the LHA rates?

London – has 14 separate LHA areas and in every one of these 14 the pensioner couple or single pensioner will get enough in housing benefit to be able to rent a 4 bed social housing property at the average rent level of £154 per week

Outer North East London £156.38
Oxford £158.90
Outer South East London £161.02
Outer South London £167.22
Guildford £170.67
Walton £173.41
Outer West London £175.74
Outer East London £181.80
North West London £185.81
Outer North London £199.68
Inner South East London £204.08
Outer South West London £209.77
Inner West London £243.18
Inner South West London £253.82
Inner East London £257.35
Central London £260.64
Inner North London £260.64

Regions – The opposite to London happens in the regions and shows that while a London pensioner will continue to get full housing benefit and be allowed at least three spare bedrooms all paid for by the taxpayer; the regions sees many cases where the maximum Housing Benefit (the LHA Maxima) will not cover the rent on a 1 bed property!

Hull & East Riding £69.92
Barnsley £72.72
North Nottingham £72.72
Northumberland £74.15
Scunthorpe £74.59
Darlington £75.75
Durham £75.75
Grimsby £75.75
Wolds and Coast £75.75
Grantham & Newark £75.78
Barrow-in-Furness £78.00
West Pennine £78.00

The above is a table of those areas with a 1 bed LHA rate at the £78 social housing 1 bed LHA rate or below.  In every one of these areas the LHA Maxima Cap policy will reduce the Housing Benefit in a 1 bed social housing property.

When we do the same for the affordable (sic) rent level of £102 for a 1 bed social housing property we see many more areas will be hit and have a cut in their HB despite not under occupying – and that includes the pensioner who is NOT exempt from the LHA Maxima Cap policy.

There are 84 areas out of 152 across England or over 55% of English regional areas in which the LHA Maxima Cap policy will see a cut in Housing Benefit even in a 1 bed property which by definition cannot be under occupied.

Hull & East Riding £69.92
Barnsley £72.72
North Nottingham £72.72
Northumberland £74.15
Scunthorpe £74.59
Darlington £75.75
Durham £75.75
Grimsby £75.75
Wolds and Coast £75.75
Grantham & Newark £75.78
Barrow-in-Furness £78.00
West Pennine £78.00
Doncaster £78.08
West Cumbria £79.24
East Lancs £80.03
Rotherham £80.80
Staffordshire North £80.80
Kirklees £81.22
Bradford & South Dales £81.58
Eastern Staffordshire £81.58
Halifax £81.58
Lincoln £81.58
North Cumbria £81.58
Scarborough £81.58
St Helens £81.58
Thanet £81.58
Wigan £81.58
Chesterfield £82.40
Northants Central £82.40
Teesside £83.78
Oldham & Rochdale £83.91
Bolton and Bury £84.00
Derby £84.75
South Cheshire £84.84
Fylde Coast £85.85
Lowestoft & Great Yarmouth £86.23
Black Country £87.41
Dover-Shepway £87.41
Leicester £87.41
Shropshire £87.41
Tameside & Glossop £87.41
Wakefield £87.41
Wirral £87.41
Lincolnshire Fens £88.28
Central Lancs £89.46
Sunderland £89.46
Peaks & Dales £90.21
Ipswich £90.64
Kings Lynn £90.64
Mid Staffs £90.90
Southport £91.43
Gloucester £92.06
Herefordshire £92.06
Lancaster £92.06
North Devon £92.06
Nottingham £92.06
Peterborough £92.06
Richmond & Hambleton £92.06
Rugby & East £92.06
Tyneside £92.06
Yeovil £92.06
Greater Liverpool £92.29
Central Norfolk & Norwich £92.98
Coventry £92.98
Worcester North £92.98
Isle of Wight £93.23
Mendip £93.23
North Cheshire £93.23
North Cornwall & Devon Borders £93.23
Sussex East £93.23
Taunton & West Somerset £93.23
Plymouth £94.16
Sheffield £94.80
Kendal £96.91
South Devon £96.91
Mid & East Devon £96.96
Birmingham £98.87
West Cheshire £99.06
Weston-S-Mare £99.06
Worcester South £99.06
Leeds £100.05
Northampton £100.05
West Wiltshire £100.05
York £101.38
Central Greater Manchester £101.98

Comment

Apologies for the many figures above reader but I am one of those old-fashioned dinosaurs who believes in those pesky bits of data called FACTS and refuse to live in this post-truth world we allegedly inhabit.

What these pesky FACTS reveal is that the Tories do not have a clue when it comes to Housing Benefit policies and all of the highly superficial substantiations they utter like mantras such as the taxpayer should not fund spare bedrooms in social housing which they have used repeatedly about the bedroom tax are a nonsense as their latest policy does precisely that.

Even the most right-wing Tories who say that those on benefit should not expect to live in “prime real estate” London will be bemused by this policy that DOES allows the taxpayer in Housing Benefit to pay for a pensioner to have 4 or more spare bedrooms paid for by the taxpayer – the same taxpayer who will not pay for zero spare bedrooms for a pensioner social tenant in Hull!

In summary, the Tory government does not know its rectum from its humerus and its cuts to entitlement to and levels of Housing Benefit do not even fit its claimed superficial rationale of freeing up social housing properties, once again proving the Tories HB policies toward social tenants are led by ideology and have no basis in fact or purpose.

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9 thoughts on “London pensioner can have 5 bedrooms: in Hull it’s not even 1

  1. EXCUSE MY REPLY JOE I READ EVERYTHING FROM YOU AND PASSIT WIDE AROUND I AM IN 3 BED BUNGALOW ON MY OWN RENT NOW ROUGHLY 95.00 COUNCIL RATE THEM 127.00 I AM A PENSIONER IN PRP CAN YOU TELL ME MY SHORT FALL THANKS

    On 1 January 2017 at 20:52, SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites) wrote:

    > joehalewood posted: “The Tories LHA Maxima Cap policy for general needs > social housing means a pensioner in central London can have 4 or more spare > bedrooms that the taxpayer will pay for in Housing Benefit. By contrast the > taxpayer will not even pay the full Housing Benef” >

    1. Simply the aggregate of properties let at the affordable (sic) rent level by both HA and council landlords.
      Note 70% of which are “conversions” or previously let at a social rent level

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