The London's Poverty Profile website uses cookies to give you the best possible experience. By continuing, we will assume you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. More information on cookies can be found on our privacy page.

The single room rate

Key points

  • The number of LHA claims in Inner London fell by 3,900 and in Outer London it grew by 5,500.
  • Among households headed by someone aged 35 to 64 and pensioners the number of housing benefit claimants in Inner London hardly changed, while it increased in Outer London.
  • The number of single adult claimants under 35 fell, particularly for those without children; this was true in both Inner London (falling by 3,700) and Outer London (falling by 3,000).

Change to private rented housing benefit claims in London

9_7.gif

What does this graph show?

Another important change to LHA was introduced in January 2012: the age at which single adults qualify for LHA to cover a one-bedroom home (rather than a single-room in a shared dwelling) increased from 25 to 35. The official DWP impact assessment estimated that in London 11,800 people would be affected and would lose on average £87 per week. This policy has a disproportionate effect in London where housing costs are higher and there is a high proportion of young single adults.

To understand how the changes to LHA discussed so far have affected London, the graph below looks at the change in LHA claims in Inner and Outer London between 2012 and 2013. It shows that the number of LHA claims in Inner London fell by 3,900 and in Outer London it grew by 5,500.

However, when we look at the change by family type and age, we can see that the differences between each group are as stark as the differences between Inner and Outer London. The graph shows that among households headed by someone aged 35 to 64 and pensioners the number of housing benefit claimants in Inner London hardly changed, while it increased in Outer London. Meanwhile the number of single adult claimants under 35 fell, particularly for those without children; this was true in both Inner London (falling by 3,700) and Outer London (falling by 3,000).

This suggests that two policies have impacted the number of LHA claims. Comparing Inner and Outer London suggest that the national LHA cap has curbed the growth in claims in Inner London among all family types. But the change to the single room rate has resulted in a fall in the number of under 35s claiming in both Inner and Outer London. In Outer London, this fall was offset by rises among other groups; in Inner London it was not.

Data used

Stat-Xplore, Department for Work and Pensions, Febuary 2012 and 2013

NOTE: The data on this page may not be the most recent available because this indicator was not updated in our most recent report, published in October 2015. Nevertheless, we have chosen to keep the page live because it tells an important story about poverty in London, and the general pattern described here is unlikely to have changed significantly.

Indicator last updated: 2 December 2015