New government: what it means for you

Following the election of a new government in May, there are expected to be some new policies that might affect housing association tenants. We’ve put together a quick guide below to what the key policies will be.

Many of the policies below are still to be agreed and finalised, and we will update you on our website and through our quarterly customer magazine, Catalyst 4 You with more details as they are announced.

Right to Buy

The government is planning to extend the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants.  This would enable some people who live in housing association homes to buy their homes, at a discount. It will be some time before a working scheme emerges and until then, we can’t say who might be eligible for Right to Buy or what sort of discounts people may be able to get.  We will keep all of our customers updated on progress through our website and Catalyst 4 You

Benefit cap

The benefit cap threshold for couples and families will be reduced from £26,000 to £23,000 per year (£442pw).

Bedroom tax

The under occupation charge (bedroom tax) will remain unchanged, with a 14% reduction of housing benefit for one spare bedroom and a 25% reduction for two or more spare bedrooms.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit will continue to be rolled out to single and recently unemployed claimants, followed by couples and families.

Housing Benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds

The new government has proposed to remove Housing Benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds.

£12bn reduction to welfare

The benefits budget will be reduced by a further £12bn, with an emergency budget in July 2015 outlining exactly where these reductions will be. Child Benefit, disability benefits, Housing Benefit and Tax Credit are all likely to be affected.

Financial advice

If you have any concerns about your finances the following organisations can assist:

  • Catalyst– 0300 456 2099
  • Step Change (debt problems) – 0800 054 6732
  • National Debt Line – 0808 808 4000
  • Department of Work and Pensions – 0345 600 0723

For more information on the welfare reforms and how Catalyst can support you, visit the Benefit Changes section of our website.