Housing Benefit Changes for 18 - 21 Year olds

There will be changes to the way that Housing Benefit will be awarded to people aged 18 - 21 from April 2017.

This will be relevant to you if the following apply:

  1. You enter into a social housing tenancy with a local authority or a registered housing provider within the Gateway area of operation; and
  2. Because you live in a Universal Credit 'full service' arear you have to claim Universal Credit either at the start of your tenancy or due to a change in circumstances during your tenancy.

If the area you live in is not a Universal Credit full service area at the moment, it will become one in the future - possible soon - you can find out when the area that you live in will move over to the Universal Credit full service here

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will reduce the support offered to those it deems as being capable of work or work related activitiy. 18 - 21 year old UC claimants will receive an intensive period of support at the start of their claim. If after six months they are not in work, they will be expected to either

  • Apply for an apprenticeship
  • Apply for a traineeship
  • Gain work places skills
  • Attend a work placement

There will no longer be entitled to the housing element of Universal Credit for 18-21 year olds who are unemployed. There will be exceptions made for parents, those in vulnerable groups and people who could previously afford their rent without assistance. Further information and the full list of exceptions can be found here

If applicants are offered a tenancy with any social housing provider and are aged between 18 and 21, affordability checks may be undertaken in order to check that the rent will be affordable to that applicant. We recommend that you seek further advice in regards to benefits that you may or may not be entitled to before entering into a tenancy, Further advice is available from the following places:

Citizens Advice Bureau - can give online advice on entitlement to benefits

Shelter - can give independent advice in regards to housing and associated benefits

Entitled to - has an online calculator which can help you to work out what benefits you may be entitled to and what you may be able to afford