Across England there are 152 Broad Rental Market Areas. These are set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and are used to define the amount of support a household might be able to claim to support their housing costs, known as Local Housing Allowance. The boundaries of the broad rental market areas and Local Housing Allowance rates are shown in the Cambridgeshire Atlas | BRMAs.
Please note: this atlas is available only in HTML5 format, which is designed for use with more modern browsers.
About the VOA data
The Valuation Office Agency provides excellent information and resources about BRMAs and Local Housing Allowances, including
- What is a Broad Rental Market Area?
- What is Local Housing Allowance?
- LHA direct at https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/search.aspx where you can search for the LHA rate for your area
- LHA bedroom calculator at https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/bedroomcalculator.aspx
- Information about the rent officer service
How does an atlas help?
Using VOA data, Cambridge sub-regional housing board wanted to see how different Broad Rental Market Areas compare; and to look at the change in allowance rates over time. Separately Cambridgeshire Atlas | Local Housing Allowance changes shows local level effect of some national changes to the way Local Housing Allowance is calculated, which were set out in the government's 2010 emergency budget. The Local Housing Allowance changes atlas considers the impact of these changes and what effect the changes may have in future.
This BRMA atlas has a slightly different focus because it simply sets out
- Past Local Housing Allowance rates used in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.
- Data across the whole of England rather than just our local area, so we can see how the BRMAs covering the Cambridge housing sub-region compare to other areas - and we can see how the LHA rate for 1 bed homes in our area compares to the rate for a 1 bed home in another area.
- All BRMA "boundaries" across England alongside all local authority boundaries. This is useful when comparing areas and housing markets, as defined by the Valuation Office Agency.
- To be added to the Atlas: new LHA rates for 2016-17. Please note, from 2016-17 local housing allowances, along with other working-age benefits, will be frozen for the next 4 years, as announced in the 2015 summer budget. The 2016-17 rates were published by VOA on 29 January 2016 and are available as open data, in some areas the LHAs have been slightly reduced while most areas saw no change. The rates for each BRMA across England can be found in open data format at BRMAs showing LHA rates. We plan to add the 2016-17 rates to this Atlas along with rent data gathered by VOA, later in 2016.