Shelter warns EDDC over housing benefit cuts

1,962 households in East Devon could be affected by LHA cut proposals

FAMILIES will be an average of �61 a month worse off as a result of government cuts to a housing benefit, says Shelter.

East Devon District Council is not challenging its claim and says 1,900 tenants across East Devon could be affected by the cuts.

Local housing allowance (LHA) is a way of calculating housing benefit payable to tenants who rent their home from a private landlord and is available to people likely to have problems paying their rent.

Shelter’s findings, from new, independent research commissioned by the charity, reveals 134,000 households across England will either be evicted or forced to move when cuts come in because they will be unable to negotiate cheaper rents from their landlords.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive said the research showed East Devon households would face a real struggle to keep a roof over their head.

“That’s why EDDC needs to start planning now to ensure their homelessness services can cope with the demand they are going to face.”

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An EDDC spokesman said: “We currently have 1,962 housing benefit customers in private rented accommodation, who come under the LHA scheme.

“We recognise that if the Government goes ahead with the proposed changes to the way LHA levels are determined then this may lower customers’ entitlement to the amount of housing benefit we can pay towards their rent.

“We will be contacting all customers likely to be affected to tell them of these proposed changes.”

The council says it is prepared for any potential increase in people needing advice and help as a consequence of the decision to reduce LHA.