Changes to Housing Benefit from January

Kevin Snow12th December 2011

Changes to the way Housing Benefit is calculated for single people are coming into force next month as part of the Coalition Government’s efforts to reduce spending on Welfare Benefits.

Until now, a single person aged 25 or under, who rents from a private landlord, would find the amount that they would receive in Housing Benefit limited to an amount that they should pay for a room in shared accommodation. This is currently £78.50 per week.

From January, this restriction will be extended so that it affects single people aged 35 or under.

There will be exemptions as with the current scheme so that lone parents, care leavers, disabled people, certain former hostel dwellers and certain ex-offenders will not be affected by the changes.

Phil Adlard, Head of Revenues and Benefits for Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council, said:

"We have contacted those people who we know will be affected by these changes but there will still be those who are looking to claim Housing Benefit for the first time who may not be aware of the full impact of the changes.

"We would urge those who may find themselves in difficulty because they are likely to receive less help than they were previously to get in touch with the Benefits Service or our colleagues in the Housing Department so that any options can be considered".

You can contact Three Rivers District Council by email or ring 01923 776611 

You can also contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for independent information and advice. 08444 111 444 The CAB has offices in Rickmansworth, South Oxhey and Abbots Langley.