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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Housing Benefits and Council Tax Support

Housing Benefit Change for Some Single People

Housing benefit is changing for single people aged 25 to 34 who rent from a private landlord.

From January 1 2012 they will only be entitled to the housing benefit "shared accommodation rate."

The shared accommodation rate is based on the local rent level for properties that are not self-contained. This usually means there is a shared kitchen, bathroom, toilet or living room.

Ribble Valley Borough Council's head of revenues and benefits, Mark Edmondson, said: "Anyone receiving housing benefit at the one-bedroom rate and moving to the shared accommodation rate is advised that their housing benefit may decrease.

"Anyone claiming or thinking of claiming housing benefit needs to consider this change before renewing or entering into a new tenancy agreement with a private landlord."

The changes will not affect anyone renting property from a local authority or housing association, aged under 22 and formerly in care, entitled to the Severe Disability Premium or living in supported housing provided by a housing association, registered charity, voluntary organisation or local authority.

Nor will it affect anyone who needs an extra bedroom for a carer, has spent at least three months in a homeless hostel or hostel specialising in rehabilitation, or is managed under a Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement.

Ribble Valley residents in receipt of housing benefit will already have been told of the changes, but anyone requiring further information or considering making a new housing benefit claim, is asked to contact Ribble Valley Borough Council's benefits helpline on 01200 414453.