As welfare changes begin to affect people across the country, Citizens Advice Scotland is producing briefings outlining their impact on people across Scotland in our Voices from the Frontline series. This briefing looks at the changes to Local Housing Allowance which significantly affected 4,400 claimants aged 25 to 35 across Scotland earlier in 2012.
From January 2012, Local Housing Allowance claimants aged between 26 and 35 have had their payments based on a room in a shared property rather than a self contained one bedroom property. In practice, this means that claimants of this age who want to live on their own have had their housing support significantly reduced. Case evidence from bureaux shows that this change has had a serious impact on thousands of people in Scotland based purely on their age. These claimants are faced with a difficult choice between trying to find very limited alternative accommodation and trying to make up the shortfall in their rent through other benefits. For many, neither option is tenable. Many may therefore face arrears and possible homelessness.