Housing benefit woes

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Life is about to get much tougher for people under 35 and on housing benefit, SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has warned.

Mr Durkan made the comment after a motion to fight against the introduction of a statutory rule to reduce housing benefit for people under 35 years of age was defeated at the Assembly yesterday. Both Mr Durkan and his SDLP colleagues as well as Sinn Fein MLAs backed the motion which was defeated.

Mr Durkan said the legislation will have “a detrimental impact on the individual” on housing benefit. “The impact of this legislation on many young people and as a result their families will be huge. Parents in particular with shared access arrangements for their children will be badly effected should this legislation been enacted. They will be expected to live in shared accommodation -houses of multiple occupation often with total strangers. This has major implications for child protection and will make access impossible for many parents, young parents in particular, especially young fathers.”

The legislation was recently adopted in England.