Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is housing benefit for people who rent a home from a private landlord.

How much Local Housing Allowance you can claim

The LHA you will be entitled to depends on how many bedrooms are needed to accommodate your household.

You are entitled to one bedroom for each of the following, up to a maximum of four bedrooms:

  • every couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other person aged over 16
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged less than 10
  • any other child
  • a carer who provides regular, overnight care for you or your partner

We may be able to allow an extra bedroom if you:

  • have a child who has a serious disability which means they require their own room
  • are an approved foster carer and you’ve fostered in the last 12 months

You may also be entitled to an extra bedroom if you or your partner need separate bedrooms because of a disability.

An extra bedroom will not qualify for LHA if it is used by a child who normally lives elsewhere under the responsibility of another adult.

For more information please see the Local Housing Allowance website.

The amount of LHA you are entitled to may also be affected by:

  • your income
  • your savings
  • if anyone aged 18 or over lives with you
  • if you have a joint tenancy
  • the amount of rent you pay

If your rent is more than your LHA rate you will have to pay the difference or seek cheaper accommodation.

Local Housing Allowance rates

The weekly / monthly rates for Local Housing Allowance in the Vale of White Horse from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 are as follows:

Broad rental market area – Oxford

  • 1 bed shared – £118.87 / £516.25
  • 1 bed self-contained – £178.36 / £775.02
  • 2 beds – £210 / £912.50
  • 3 beds – £253.15 / £1,100
  • 4 beds – £364.77 / £1,585.01

Broad rental market area – Swindon

  • 1 bed shared – £78.59 / £341.49
  • 1 bed self-contained – £126.58 / £550.02
  • 2 beds – £151.89 / £660
  • 3 beds – £182.96 / £795
  • 4 beds – £230.14 / £1,000.01

How Local Housing Allowance is paid

LHA is usually paid via your bank account and will then need to paid as rent to your landlord.

The easiest way to do this is to set up a direct debit or standing order from your account to theirs – visit the Money Advice Service for information on getting a bank account if you do not already have one.

If we believe that you have difficulty managing your finances, or are unlikely to pay your rent, we may choose to pay your LHA directly to your landlord – for more details please see our LHA Safeguard policy.

Help with managing your money and debt

There are many organisations that can give you advice about debt and money problems. Some are listed below: