Housing Benefits (18 to 21-Year-Olds)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 7th March 2017.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 12:39 pm, 7th March 2017

From 1 April, automatic entitlement to housing costs will be removed for some 18 to 21-year-olds. This is a Conservative manifesto commitment and it was formally announced as a Government measure in summer Budget 2015.

This policy removes a perverse incentive for young adults to leave the family home and pass the cost on to the taxpayer. This is about stopping young people slipping straight into a life on benefits, and it brings parity with young people who are in work but who may not be able to leave the family home, while an unemployed young person can do so.

We have always been clear that this policy will have a comprehensive set of exemptions, to make sure that the most vulnerable continue to have the housing support that they need, so the policy will affect only those who have no barriers to work and who are unable to return safely to their parental home. In addition, there is a time-limited exemption for those who have recently been in work. The policy will apply only to those in universal credit full service areas who make new claims or whose earnings drop below the in-work threshold after that date.

The policy will be implemented at the same time as the new youth obligation, an intensive package of labour market support for young people from day one of their claim. With new support available under the youth obligation, more young adults will move into work, significantly improving their current living standards and future prospects.