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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

LHA rates may increase by up to 4% in certain areas of NI

A new statutory instrument takes effect on 20 January that will allow for the uprating of Local Housing Allowance by up to 4% in certain parts of Northern Ireland.  This is to prevent certain areas becoming unaffordable to tenants in receipt of housing benefit. 

Which areas will be affected?

This legislation provides for the LHA rate for the following size of dwelling in the following areas to be increased by up to 4%:

  • BRMA2 (North): Shared accommodation, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 4 bedroom
  • BRMA3 (Lough Neagh Lower): Shared accommodation
  • BRMA4 (North West): Shared accommodation, 1 bedroom, 4 bedroom
  • BRMA6 (South East): Shared accommodation, 1 bedroom, 3 bedrooms
  • BRMA7 (Lough Neagh Upper): Shared accommodation, 4 bedrooms
  • BRMA8 (Belfast): 4 bedrooms

How will the new LHA rates be set in these areas?

The new LHA rate for this type of accommodation will be set at the lower of

  • the previous LHA rate increased by 4% or
  • the maximum LHA rate for that category of dwelling. 

The new maximum LHA rates for each category of dwelling are:

  • shared accommodation - £260.64
  • 1 bedroom - £260.64
  • 2 bedrooms - £302.33
  • 3 bedrooms - £354.46
  • 4 bedrooms - £417.02

How will LHA rates for other properties change?

The Local Housing Allowance rate for other categories of dwelling will be set at the lower of

  • the 30th percentile of listed rents or
  • the previous LHA rate increased by 1%

Getting up to date LHA rates

LHA rates for Northern Ireland are available on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive's website.  New rates take effect on 1 April each year. For information on how housing benefit is calculated for private tenants, visit housingadviceNI.org.  The Housing Benefit (Executive Determinations) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 are available on legislation.gov.uk.


Tagged In

Benefits, Money Matters, Private Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Affordability

This article was written on 20 January 2015. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.