Responding to the UK Government’s Autumn Statement today, Cymorth Cymru Director Katie Dalton said:
“In advance of the Autumn Statement we said increasing Local Housing Allowance was the most significant action the Chancellor could take to reduce homelessness. We are therefore extremely pleased that LHA rates will be unfrozen and increased to cover the bottom 30% of rents.
“The increase in LHA rates should help to prevent homelessness by reducing the shortfall in people’s rent, helping people to move out of temporary accommodation, and helping people who lose their home to find affordable rented homes.
“We would like to pay tribute to everyone in the homelessness and housing sector who has campaigned for the increase in Local Housing Allowance rates, with particular credit to the Bevan Foundation and Crisis for the research that evidenced the scarcity of affordable rented properties in Wales.
On other elements of the Autumn statement, Katie said:
“We welcome the decision to increase benefits by 6.7% in line with the September inflation rate. However, we are concerned about the additional burdens and conditions that could be placed on people who received financial support from the welfare system.
“Finally, we welcome the increased National Living Wage, as low paid workers are really struggling with the cost of living. However, this may pose financial challenges to homelessness and housing support providers, who will need more funding to cover additional salary costs. We therefore re-iterate our calls on the Welsh Government to increase the Housing Support Grant in the upcoming Welsh Budget. This is essential to enable homelessness and housing support services to increase staff pay and maintain service delivery.”