Housing benefit and age discrimination

Young single people are not entitled to the same rate of housing welfare in the private rental sector as those over 35.

Being regarded as less in need than other groups in terms of housing has resulted in a policy that puts young people at a disadvantage and makes them one of the most vulnerable groups in terms of housing rights.


This report looks at the impact of cuts to the housing welfare (called Local Housing Allowance) that is available in England and Wales to young people aged 18-34, and living in the private rental sector and is based on findings from the research project ‘Hitting Home: Single People, Housing Benefit Reform and Equalities Law’.

The research was conducted by Dr Eleanor Wilkinson and Dr Iliana Ortega-Alcázar at the University of Southampton, funded by a grant from the Economic & Social Research Council.

The report makes a number of recommendations including...

  • The Government should scrap the Shared Accommodation Rate, or
  • roll the Shared Accommodation Rate back to 25 years of age.
  • Exemptions ought to be reviewed in light of equality impacts and that the following groups are made exempt:
    - All victims of domestic abuse
    - Single parents with non-resident children
    - People struggling with mental health issues

You can read our full list of recommendations in the full report and summary report.