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No Homes For The Young – Changes To Benefits Could Force Young People Into Homelessness
Last year, the Government made a change to the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) – the level of Housing Benefit that applies to single people in the private rented sector – that placed restrictions on claimants under the age of 35. Homeless Link’s report, Nowhere To Move, examined data taken from 55,537 property listings in London to assess the impact of this change.
Launched recently at Homeless Link’s national conference on housing 'Finding and keeping a home, it revealed that just 5.5% of properties in the capital are actually affordable to claimants. The findings strongly suggest that welfare reform is adding to an already severe housing crisis in London.
The SAR is limited to a maximum amount based on what is seen as appropriate rent for a room in a shared property. Until January 2012, this only applied to 18-24 year olds but was extended to include all benefit claimants under 35. According to the Government’s own figures this added a further 12,000 people to those already competing for shared accommodation.
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