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Housing status

Housing Benefit: Housing Status

Your eligibility for Housing Benefit or the Universal Credit Housing Costs element depends on your housing status.

Social housing tenants

Social housing tenants (people who rent from their local council or from a housing association) are eligible for Housing Benefit on all of their 'eligible' rent unless they have spare room, in which case the under occupation rules may apply. The calculator works out how much Housing Benefit is payable. You may not get your rent paid in full if you have income or savings above a set amount or if you live with non-dependents.

Private sector tenants

Private sector tenants - people who rent from a private landlord - have their Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs element worked out based on the appropriate Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. Instead of being based on the actual rent you pay it is based on a standard allowance for each area and the property size your household is thought to need. For more information see Local Housing Allowance.

Mortgage or owned outright

Mortgage or owned outright - people who own their home outright or have a mortgage - are not eligible for Housing Benefit. However, help is available for some people to help meet the cost of interest payments on their mortgage. From April 2018 this help takes the form of a repayable, interest accruing loan not a benefit. In order to get this help you must be claiming Pension Credit (guarantee credit), Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (income-based) or Employment and Support Allowance (income-related). For more information see help with housing costs.

Shared Ownership

If you are buying a share in your home through a shared ownership scheme then you may be eligible to receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs element for the rent part and a Support for Mortgage Interest loan to help with the mortgage interest. For more information see shared ownership.

Supported Accommodation

If you live in supported accommodation you will receive care, support and supervision from your landlord. In order to meet the definition in the benefits calculator you should only select this option if the care, support and supervision you receive is more than 'minimal'. This is because we assume that people selecting supported accommodation are exempt from the benefits cap and under occupation rules, and only where you receive more than 'minimal' support will this be true.

If you live in supported accommodation any help with housing costs will be covered by Housing Benefit, even if you are claiming Universal Credit. For more information see supported exempt accommodation or if you are in doubt please check with your landlord. If your accommodation is not exempt please instead select ‘tenant – social and voluntary’.

Temporary Accommodation

If your council has placed you in temporary accommodation as part of their homelessness duty while they find alternative accommodation for you, any help with housing costs will be covered by Housing Benefit - even if you are claiming Universal Credit.

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