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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

New regulations do away with 18-21 year old housing costs restrictions

The Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018 were laid before Parliament on 5 November 2018. The most significant change brought about by these regulations is the removal of the restrictions on Universal Credit housing costs claims by job-seeking 18 to 21 year olds, a policy that was introduced despite much criticism in 2017.

Housing costs for 18-21 year olds under Universal Credit

The automatic restriction on young people claiming assistance with housing costs under Universal Credit will end on 31 December 2018. Until that date, any young person claiming Universal Credit who is single and subject to all work-seeking requirements will only be entitled to receive assistance with rent payments if he or she can meet one of the prescribed exceptions or can show that it is unreasonable to expect that person to live in the family home.

Extension of exceptions to the two-child limit

In addition to the changes to housing costs for young people, the regulations also amend the two-child limit under Universal Credit to allow for an additional element to be paid for any child cared for under a kinship care arrangement or who is adopted from authority care.


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Benefits, Legislation, Welfare Reform

This article was written on 7 November 2018. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.