Quietly under the radar, the government has issued new regulations which remove the entitlement to the housing element of Universal Credit for certain 18 – 21 year olds.

The Universal Credit (Housing Costs Element for claimants aged 18 to 21) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 commence from 1 April 2017 and apply to England and Wales.

It will be a gradual introduction as it will only apply to a renter who is:

  • 18 – 21 years old; and
  • subject to all work-related requirements; and
  • a single person (or a member of a couple claiming as a single person); and
  • the claim is being made in a ‘digital service area’.

There are a number of exceptions where an 18 – 21 year old can nevertheless claim the housing costs element of Universal Credit including where:

  • the renter is responsible for a child
  • the renter is unable to live with their parents because the renter has no parent or neither parent occupies accommodation as their home in Great Britain
  • in the opinion of the Secretary of State it is inappropriate for the renter to live with each of their parents, including (but not limited to) in circumstances where there would be a serious risk to the renter’s physical or mental health, or the renter would suffer significant harm, if the renter lived with them
  • domestic violence has been inflicted on or threatened against the renter by the renter’s partner or former partner or by a family member.

There are a number of other exceptions available to see here.

It is estimated around 10,000 young people will be affected by 2020.

The purpose of the introduction doesn’t appear to be cost saving as it’s estimated only £3.3 million will be saved.