Last month I wrote to the Work and Pensions Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, and raised the issue of Local Housing Allowance rates with her.
I have now received a response from Will Quince, the Minister for Welfare Delivery:
Unfortunately, the Minister has ruled-out including under-25s in the Shared Accommodation Rate exemption for homeless people. He says that because ordinary, single, working age people cannot afford rents, that it would be unfair for the taxpayer to pay the rents of single, working age people on benefits. The idea being that those on benefits would be better off than those that work.
Although I understand the Minister’s point, to me, the obvious take-away from this situation is that something should be done to address our ludicrously unaffordable housing market. However, the Government has no plans to do so.
Until significant steps are taken to reform the housing sector, homelessness will continue to plague our country. This is an issue that I will continue to raise with the Government whenever possible.