Survey of rentals by Eastbourne bureau

AN Eastbourne Citizens Advice Bureau report on the availability of single accommodation to rent in the town has found that just four per cent of rentals sampled in July were available and affordable at the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate for shared accommodation.

Housing benefit is determined by the LHA and currently, single people under 25 are restricted to the shared accommodation rate, regardless of the accommodation they are in.

The rate for July is £69.27 a week. If government proposals go ahead in January 2012 then the age restriction will extend to the under 35s. The survey shows that the housing market is limiting for the under 25s at the moment but it will limit a much larger proportion of renters if the age restriction changes next year.

Sarah Rose, social policy co-ordinator at Eastbourne CAB, said, “We are concerned that there will not be an adequate supply of affordable housing for single housing benefit recipients under 35 and it is likely that we will see an increase in those struggling to make up the shortfall between their housing benefit and rent.”

CAB will repeat the survey in September and continue to monitor the situation.