A Suffolk council's campaign to increase housing benefit succeeded this week when Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced Local Housing Allowance (LHA) would be unfrozen.

East Suffolk Council had sent a letter backed by almost 300 council leaders to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) calling for LHA to go up to enable tenants to cope with soaring private rents.

LHA rates are calculated on the basis of private rents, but rates have been frozen since 2018-19 when the cost of renting privately was lower than now.

Earlier this month, the Suffolk authority revealed it was using B&Bs to cope with six times as many people living in temporary accommodation compared to three years ago.

However, in his autumn statement on Wednesday, Mr Hunt said LHA would be increased for the lowest 30% of private rents, which would give renters an extra £800 next year.

READ MORE: East Suffolk Council using B&Bs to cope with soaring demand

Councillor David Beavan, East Suffolk Council's cabinet member for housing, said: “This will make it easier for homeless people to find temporary and new accommodation as well as prevent people ending up on the streets in the first place because they can’t afford private rents.

“Today the Chancellor heeded our campaign to unfreeze the Local Housing Allowance."

On current trends, the number of households in temporary accommodation in the district is set to rise by 48% by the end of the current financial year in March, compared to 2022-23, due mainly to the cost-of-living crisis and private rents.

READ MORE: Suffolk councillor's homelessness warning in letter

The result has been that the council is having to use more 'nightly let' and B&B accommodation.

LHA rates are based on private market rents being paid by tenants in a Broad Rental Market Area, which is defined as the area within which they might reasonably be expected to live.

READ MORE: Suffolk news