Landlords can have say over housing benefit changesMake Text Bigger
Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has launched a short consultation period asking for views on planned change from landlords, organisations and individuals.
Thousands of singles could be looking for shared house accommodation as controversial proposals limiting housing benefit for young adults have taken a step forward with a Government announcement today.
Amending housing benefit regulations will have two major affects on the housing market –
- The definition of a ‘young individual’ for housing benefit purposes changes from someone under 25 to a person under 35 years old.
- Housing benefit for claimants aged up to age 35 will be limited to the ‘shared accommodation rate’.
- Paying this rate stops under 35s renting self-contained flats unless they can make up the difference between the restricted benefit rate and the rent charged.
Many critics of the move argue that the housing benefit change will create a surge in under 35s looking for shared accommodation in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).
Meanwhile councils all over England are stopping the development of new HMOs by imposing Article 4 planning restrictions under the Town and Country Planning Act.
Charities have estimated the benefit reduction will lead to around 88,000 young adults seeking new accommodation, while housing allowance will be cut by around £47 a week.
A National Landlords Association survey said 31% of landlords are considering ‘reducing such tenancies now’. Less than 1% said they planned to increase such tenancies during 2011.
The government argues the new benefit system is in response to cuts and is part of creating a fairer benefits system for everyone.
The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) wants landlords to give their opinions on the changes.
Copies of an explanatory memorandum and draft regulations are available from the SSAC website: www.ssac.org.uk
Representations can be sent to the SSAC by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the consultation response facility on the website, to arrive no later than June 17, 2011.
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