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Housing Benefit

Volume 603: debated on Monday 7 December 2015

22. What assessment he has made of the potential effect of changes to housing benefit announced in the spending review and autumn statement 2015 on people under 35. (902582)

To introduce fairness, we will cap housing benefit at the appropriate local housing allowance rate for the area from April 2018 when a new tenancy is taken out or a tenancy is renewed after April 2016. That means that the housing benefit of single claimants under 35 who take on a new tenancy or renew a tenancy will be restricted to the local housing allowance shared accommodation rate.

Research shows that it is fairly unusual for people under 35 without children to be given social housing, but the exception to that is care leavers. Can the Minister let the House know whether there will be any safeguards or exemptions for vulnerable care leavers?

To clarify, this will be a flow measure so there will be no cash losers among those already in the system. We will be looking at the protections in place, recognising those in the private sector which include protection for care leavers.