Information about more financial support for private tenants who get housing benefits

As part of its response to COVID-19, the government announced that they're making welfare benefits changes to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area.

Find the full range of Housing Benefit changes.

One of the changes that affects the services the council provides is the change to Housing Benefits. From 1 April 2020, the maximum amount of rent used in a Housing Benefit calculation for private tenants has been increased.

We estimate that we will give 2,750 households an extra £2.4m in Housing Benefit in 2020 as a result.

Do I need to do anything to get this extra money? 

No, we will calculate it automatically.

I’m a private tenant on Housing Benefit - how much will I get?

This depends on your personal circumstance, what size property you live in and how high your rent is compared to an average rent.

For one in two households there will be no increase at all because they already being paid based on their full rent. For the rest, the average increase will be £17.08 a week. The highest increase will be £34.94 per week.

When will I find out how much I get?

We will notify everyone affected in the middle of April 2020.

When do I get paid?

You will see your regular payments increase in April 2020.  We’ll tell you the date when we notify you.

What if my Housing Benefit is paid to my landlord?

If your Housing Benefit is paid to your landlord, the changes will still apply to you. We'll tell you and your landlord if your Housing Benefit changes. 

You may need adjust any top-up you pay your landlord. This will depend on the difference between your Housing Benefit and the rent you pay, if there is a difference between these 2 payments. 

I get my housing costs paid by Universal Credit - do I get any extra help?

The same changes are being made to the housing element of Universal Credit. Again this only applies to private tenants. This change will also be automatic.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will tell you whether you have an increase and when payments will start.

There are also other changes to Universal Credit that will increase payments for most recipients.

I already get Housing Benefit but because of COVID-19 my income has gone down.  What should I do?

Housing Benefit only helps with housing costs. If your income has gone down, you may be able to get extra help with your housing costs and living costs by claiming Universal Credit

If you are not entitled to Universal Credit you should tell us of your change of circumstances so we can calculate a new amount of Housing Benefit for you. 

Contact the Benefits service

What about help with Council Tax - does that change?

Find information about changes made to Council Tax in response to COVID-19.

If I try to contact you will I get a response?

The changes described on this page will either happen automatically or can be done online by following the links above. However, we do appreciate that sometimes you need more detailed advice.

Like many public services, we have a limited service while we try to adapt to the lockdown. We're working on ways of improving our response. Please be patient when trying to contact us by phone or e-mail.

We'll update this webpage regularly to give you the latest information.