In 2020/21 the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates in Northern Ireland have been increased to provide additional financial support for private tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis the Government has passed emergency legislation to have the LHA rates restored to the 30th percentile of market rents.
The 30th percentile figures are derived from twelve months’ worth of lettings information, collected from 1 October to 30 September in the previous year.
This means that in each market area, if there were 100 properties available for letting of the appropriate size, the LHA would be based on the 30th lowest rent charge of those 100 properties.
In other words tenants who receive LHA should have access to the bottom 30% of the market.
Map of Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMAs) in Northern Ireland