Young people now able to get housing help in Universal Credit U-turn

by Gary Whittaker

In the last 12 months, landlords prepared to rent out properties to those on benefits have been restricted when it comes to those aged between 18 and 21. The government stopped these youngsters claiming housing benefits as part of their Universal Credit if they were living at home with their parents and unemployed.

This situation once prompted the youngest MP in parliament, Mhairi Black, to quip in late 2015: "I must be the only 20-year-old in the UK he [then chancellor George Osborne] wants to help with housing costs."

Critics argued that this passed much of the financial burden on to parents to support their offspring, which could cause extra financial strains for some. It would also stop their children moving out into rented accomodation.

Those who could still claim included individuals who were in work, disabled or had children of their own.
However, this has now changed with the decision of the government to allow anyone aged 18-21 to claim housing benefits as part of Universal Credit, after all. 

Work and pensions secretary Esther Mcvey said: “As we roll out Universal Credit, we have always been clear we will make any necessary changes along the way. This announcement today will reassure all young people that housing support is in place if they need it.”

Many more of those within this demographic will therefore be able to seek to rent homes, and landlords and agents will consequently witness increased demand.  

In order to help landlords and agents, a workshop will be run by the Department for Work and Pensions to outline these changes and their effects in a fringe workshop at the Future Renting North Conference, which takes place in Manchester next month.

This event will provide information on all the implications for the rental sector of new legislation and tax changes coming from Westminster, and will be addressed by the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. 

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03-April-18General Lettings News