Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a new kind of financial support that was introduced for private tenants living in Brighton & Hove in 2004. It is like a tax credit to help working people pay their rent
Qualifying for LHA is not a reflection on salaries but recognition of the high local housing costs. Employers set their wages according to their business requirements and cannot be expected to account for volatile local factors like housing costs. So LHA helps workers to afford housing in high cost areas, supporting the local workforce and in turn local employers. Brighton & Hove is currently only one of a selection of areas is that is benefiting from this new system of LHA, the government hope to roll it out nationally by 2008.
If your staff pay rent to a private landlord in Brighton & Hove, they may qualify for some financial help. LHA starts from a standard amount according to the number of people in the household which reduces as their earnings go up. The people who will benefit most are single adults over 25, single parents and couples with children that live in self contained accommodation provided they don’t have savings over £16,000. LHA has already helped many people living and working in the city, and it is surprising how many people qualify. It is paid directly to the tenant fortnightly either to a bank account or by cheque. If you have found that the cost of housing in the city has affected the recruitment and retention of staff, then LHA may be able to help both you and them. The council is already working with some major employers in the city to promote this to their staff. We have leaflets that can be distributed among staff, or we can come and talk to staff at your place of work, or set up a dedicated phone line for staff to ring.
For more information or to discuss how this can be promoted to staff contact Rachel Conway on 01273 291338 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Brighton & Hove City Council