More PRS housing support is needed for young people

  • A parliamentary group reports has said that government should be providing more support for young people who wish to rent a home in the private rented sector. /images/rent_due.jpg

    The all-party parliamentary group on the private rented sector wants the government to review housing benefit rule and loosen planning restrictions on rented property, reports Inside Housing.

    In the reports it also calls on the government to examine whether planning powers are unduly restricting the supply of new private homes to rent.

    Oliver Colvile MP, chairman of the all-party parlimentary group on the PRS, said: "Growing numbers of young people rely on the private rented sector for homes. We need to make sure that the benefits, tax and planning framework we have in place allows them to find the homes they need, at a price they can afford. The government and local authorities need to work together to maximise the supply of good private rented homes available."

    Responding to the report, Gavin Smart, deputy chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: "We welcome this report - particularly the call for a full review of the Shared Accommodation Rate rules, which mean single people under 35 can now only claim housing benefit equivalent to a room in a shared house.   We warned when this measure was introduced that it would force already disadvantaged young people to take a backward step and would make it difficult for them to set up a stable home of their own."

    Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, said: "Half of 16-34 year-olds are renting privately and every week two days' wages goes straight to their landlord. The private rented sector is systematically sucking money from the young and it will take much more than tinkering on the edges to give young people a secure and affordable home. The recommendations in this report simply don't go far enough and in most cases do no more than call for a review. This incremental approach fails to reflect an understanding of the pressure cooker in which renters of all ages are living today."

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