MPs and peers to examine private rented sector
A Parliamentary group is to examine the impact welfare reforms will have on young people in the private rented sector.
The All Party Parliamentary Group for the private rented sector is to hear from and question experts on the impact government policies will have on tenants.
Housing benefit changes since January mean that claimants under the age of 35 can claim only for a room in a shared house. The previous age threshold was 25.
According to the English Housing Survey, over half of tenants in the private rented sector - 1.9 million - are aged under-35, of which 36 per cent - 1.3 million - are aged between 25 and 34 and will potentially be affected by the changes.
Robert Syms MP, the group’s chairman, said: ‘With deposits for house buying continuing to be difficult to raise and waiting lists for social housing remaining large, the private rented sector has an increasing role to play in meeting the housing needs of young people.
‘With over half of all tenants in the private rented sector aged under 35, today’s meeting will enable MPs and Peers to hear about what impact recent policy changes will have on their ability to access housing.’
The group will also be looking at how local authorities are using new powers to restrict the growth of shared housing in certain areas.
Most frequently being used to tackle what is known as the ‘studentification’ problem, the adoption of an ‘Article 4 Direction’ requires planning permission to be obtained where it is proposed to change the use of a dwelling from single unit occupancy to shared occupancy by 3-6 people.