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Local housing allowance explained

Local housing allowance (LHA) is a restriction on the amount of housing benefit or universal credit housing costs paid to anyone in privately rented accommodation

LHA is not paid if you rent your home from a housing association or live in a caravan or boat.

How LHA is worked out

The LHA rate is based on the area you live in (or want to live) and the number of bedrooms you and your family need (you can use the LHA Bedroom Calculator on the LHA Direct website to tell you this).

Most people living in the District are in the Chelmsford 'rental market area'.

If you live (or want to live) in Tollesbury, Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Tolleshunt Knights and Tolleshunt Major, you will fall within the Colchester 'rental market area'.

Your LHA rate will not change unless someone moves in/out of your home or you change address.

The 'Shared Accommodation Rate' is paid to persons who are single and under 35. The maximum housing benefit you can get is the rate for renting a single room in a shared house. This applies even if you rent a self-contained flat. You can read more about this rate on the Shelter website.


The LHA rates below apply from 1 April 2024


Number of bedrooms

Chelmsford weekly amount

(calendar monthly equivalent)

Colchester weekly Amount

(calendar monthly equivalent)

Shared accommodation rate 





1 bedroom





2 bedrooms





3 bedrooms





4 bedrooms







Further Details