By Yvette Hartfree, Grahame Whitfield, Amanda Waring, Adriana Sandu and Katherine Hill
This research explored the experiences of tenants and advisors in five local authority areas and formed part of a two-year review being undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions to monitor the impact of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) at a national level following its national rollout in April 2008. A key focus of the research was on understanding tenants’ experiences of managing direct payments and to assess whether any new issues were arising under the LHA national rollout model that were not apparent in the LHA Pathfinder evaluation.
Overall, the findings from this research are very similar to those of the Pathfinder evaluation. However, this research includes a greater focus on the experiences and views of advisers from independent advice agencies than in the Pathfinder studies. This has provided a more detailed insight into the reasons why a minority of claimants were struggling to manage their rent payments and has provided a new perspective on the effectiveness of the LHA safeguard provisions.