People claiming housing benefit or those making new claims in Leicester or Leicestershire are being urged to check how changes being made to the system will affect the amount of financial support they receive.
From 1st April 2011 tenants renting from private landlords may receive less money towards their rent, the £15 weekly Local Housing Allowance excess is being stopped and lower rental values will be applied when claims are reviewed.
The benefit teams of the seven local authorities across the county along with Leicester City Council are now working together to raise awareness of the impact the changes will have on people as they become effective within the next 12 months.
Existing customers will have nine months after their claim is reviewed before the changes come into force but new claimants will be affected straight away. Anyone thinking of starting or renewing a tenancy agreement is being advised to check how the changes will impact on them before signing any long term agreements.
Quin Quinney, housing and community services group manager at Blaby District Council said:
“We want to avoid people getting in financial problems later by warning them now that these changes may well mean they get less money towards their rent and they should start planning for that as soon as possible.”
To find out more please contact your local authority’s housing benefit department or visit the LHA or VOA websites linked-to below
For free and confidential advice about housing benefits or any other benefit enquiry call the Citizens Advice Bureau on 0844 848 9009 or visit the Blaby Service Shop on Forge Corner to make an appointment with an advisor.
If you are worried about your money or need advice about debt call 0844 248 0040.