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Universal Credit: housing costs for 18 to 21 year olds

Wednesday 12 April 2017

From 1 April 2017, the rules have changed for young people aged 18 to 21 who want to claim help with housing costs in areas where Universal Credit is fully rolled out.

Unemployed young people who can live in their family home will no longer automatically receive an amount for housing in their Universal Credit award.

Young people who are in work, have children of their own, are disabled or are vulnerable are not affected by this change.  A full list of exemptions is given below.

Landlords can continue to rent to these young people with confidence. 

Most will have clear upfront evidence that they are exempt - for example those in work or claiming a disability benefit. This evidence could also be in the form of a statement from a trusted third party (e.g. a local authority homelessness team or a relevant charity) that the young person is unable to return to the parental home. 

Some young people will be eligible for support because they are unable to return to the parental home, but will not have upfront evidence.  In these cases any extenuating circumstances will be taken into account. 

Among the extensive list of 18 to 21 year old's who can get help with housing costs are:

  • Those for whom it is inappropriate for the young person to live with their parents, for example where there has been a breakdown in the relationship with their parents, where the young person has been asked to leave the family home, or where the need to live independently is part of an agreed plan with relevant support agencies

  • Those who are a victim of domestic violence

  • Those who are getting treatment for alcohol or drug dependency

  • Those who have a contract as an apprentice on the last day of their Universal Credit assessment period. Continuing entitlement is dependent on them earning the monthly equivalent of 16x National Minimum Wage for apprentices during
    each assessment period

  • Those who are expecting a baby within 11 weeks