The government has made no estimate of the number of people unable to meet housing costs due to the freeze on housing benefit rates.
The admission has been made by the Work and Pensions Minister, Mims Davies, in response to a parliamentary question.
Labour MP Wayne David used a written parliamentary question to ask what assessment the government has made of the potential effect of freezing the rates of Local Housing Allowance on the number of people who will be unable to meet their housing costs.
The Work and Pensions minister, Mims Davies, responded: “The Department does not hold this information, therefore no such estimate had been made.”
It comes as the claimants of the Local Housing Allowance face a third year of their payments being frozen in cash terms. It means that housing support provided by the government does not reflect rents as they are today. Instead, they are linked to market rents as they were in 2019.
A recent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that rented households in receipt of the LHA will receive an average of £50 a month less in benefit support than they would have got if rates had risen in line with rents.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, says: “The NRLA is appalled at the Government’s complacent attitude. Amidst a cost of living squeeze we need to do everything to support the sector and often vulnerable tenants in accessing the housing they need.
“It beggars belief that ministers have frozen vital support for many renters with no idea how many will be unable to afford their housing as a result.
“The Government should unfreeze housing benefit rates as a matter of urgency.”
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