When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Cuts to help with housing costs for young people

When Universal Credit is introduced, you may not be entitled to any help with your housing costs if you are aged under 21. There are some exceptions to this rule, which will allow young people to receive help to pay their rent.

You will still be able to apply for financial assistance to help with the cost of paying rates on your home

Housing costs for young people

If you are aged under 21, you will have to prove that you meet at least one of the exceptions set out in the law in order to get help with your housing costs. You will have to prove this during an interview with your work coach after you've submitted your claim for Universal Credit. 

This only applies to people claiming Universal Credit. If you get Housing Benefit to help with your rent, you can continue to claim this even if you are under 21. 

Are there any exceptions?

Certain young people will still be able to get housing costs in their universal credit payment, including young people who:

  • are unable to live with their parents, for any number of reasons
  • are claiming as a couple
  • are working at least 16 hours per week
  • have a dependent child
  • were in care at age 16 or 17
  • receive the DLA care component at middle or high rate
  • receive the daily living component of PIP

In most cases, your job coach should take you at your word if you say that you are unable to live at home with your family or guardians and shouldn't ask for much more information. If, however, you are told that you can't get help with your housing costs and you think that this is unfair, contact Housing Rights for help.