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Welfare Reform

Volume 638: debated on Thursday 29 March 2018

This Government are committed to providing young people with the support they need to get started with their working lives. We do this through providing financial support when it is needed, and support to either “earn or learn”—delivered through the simplified universal credit (UC) benefits system. In line with this aim, I am today announcing that the Government will amend regulations so that all 18 to 21 year olds will be entitled to claim support for housing costs in UC.

Currently, 18 to 21 year-olds who make a new claim to UC in UC full service areas need to meet certain requirements in order to receive housing support. The change I am announcing today means that young people on benefits will be assured that if they secure a tenancy, they will have support towards their housing costs in the normal way.

Young people in return will have a youth obligation—an intensive package of labour market support for 18 to 21 year-olds looking to get into work. We are committed to providing targeted support for young people so that everyone, no matter what their start in life, is given the very best chance of getting into work.

This decision ensures that there are no unintended barriers to young people accessing housing on the basis of their age alone and getting into work, and is in line with the Government’s launch of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and our commitment to eradicating rough sleeping by 2027.