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How to claim help with your rent and council tax

What is local housing allowance?

Local housing allowance (LHA) is a type of housing benefit 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.

The LHA rates below apply from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2018

Number of bedrooms

Chelmsford weekly amount

(calendar monthly equivalent)

Colchester weekly Amount

(calendar monthly equivalent)

Shared accommodation rate* (see below for more information about this)





1 bedroom





2 bedrooms





3 bedrooms





4 bedrooms





How is LHA 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 BRMA.

The amount of LHA you get is worked out in the same way as other housing benefit claims. 

We will review your LHA rate each year and write to you. Your LHA rate will not change during that time unless someone moves in/out of your home or you change address. 

* The 'Shared Accomodation 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.

What else do I need to know?