Welfare Reform & Homelessness

With the decline of social housing in the UK and the growth of the PRS, more individuals on benefits and universal credit are looking to the PRS to provide them with a home. With government reforms to the benefit system it is important to understand any impact of these changes on the PRS.

Homelessness and the Private Rented Sector

The research found that security of tenure is not a cause of increasing homelessness from the private rented sector. Most tenancies are ended by tenants rather than landlords. Where landlords ended tenancies under ‘no fault’ routes, rent arrears was the most common reason cited by landlords for terminations. Rather, it is the introduction in 2008 of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) as a means of calculating Housing Benefit payments, and subsequent changes to LHA rates, that is driving the increase in homelessness from the private rented sector.

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Benefit Changes Drive Increase in Homelessness from Rented Housing

Changes to the benefits system are behind the decade-long increase in homelessness from private rented housing, according to a new report published today. Research by the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University for the Residential Landlords Association has found that a key driver of homelessness from the private rented sector has been the introduction in 2008 of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA), as a way of calculating Housing Benefit payments for low-income households.

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