The Government policy has changed regarding the provision of Housing Benefit to young people aged 18-21.  Where before, this group was not eligible for Housing Benefit, with a small number of exceptions.  The policy is now that ALL 18-21 year-olds will be eligible to receive the housing costs element of Universal Credit, although the implementation of this will take a while.

The House of Commons Briefing Paper on this can be read on the website.


Various groups had campaigned against this Tory manifesto pledge from 2015, fearing that it would cause a rise in youth homelessness, and it is suggested that the policy change has come about because of the new Homelessness Reduction Act, which came into place on 3 April this year.  The likelihood of in increase in youth homelessness being at odds with the aims of the act.

The original aim of the policy, when first mentioned by David Cameron, was to introduce fairness between young people on benefits and those who are not, between working and leaving home or remaining at home.  However it failed to account for the circumstances that many young people on benefits face, where there is no family safety net, or availability of work, to stand between them and the streets.