The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
The Government has announced that it will amend The Universal Credit (Housing Costs Element for claimants aged 18 to 21) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (the “Regulations”) that came into force on 1 April 2017.
The Regulations were introduced to restrict the housing costs element of Universal Credit for new claimants aged between 18 and 21 years old, in an attempt to reduce the amount of taxpayers’ money paid towards housing costs. Unless an exemption applied then an 18 to 21 year old Universal Credit claimant would be unable to claim assistance with their rent. This led to many landlords refusing lets to 18 to 21 year olds and also resulted in young Universal Credit eligible claimants having to consider if they truly could afford to live independently without any welfare state assistance with their rent costs.
The U-turn by the Government means that 18 to 21 year olds will no longer need to satisfy any of the additional requirements to be eligible to make a claim to assist them with their housing costs. Landlords will also be relieved to know that they can let to tenants aged 18 to 21 years old who will be eligible and will be able to afford to rent as a result of receiving assistance with the housing costs element of Universal Credit.
Do note that welfare benefit claimants must still satisfy the general eligibility benefit to claim Universal Credit and the benefit cap still applies so any claimant who does not satisfy the requirements or is already receiving the limit, may not be entitled to assistance with the housing costs element.
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Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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