Thank you for contacting me about the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR).
Nobody should be without a roof over their head. That is why I welcome the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping for good, with the aim of halving it by 2022.
As far as I am aware, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has no plans at present to extend the exemption from the SAR to people aged under 25. I would note that there are already a number of exemptions to the SAR, such as for those with children or non-dependents, certain homeless people, and those requiring overnight care, or receiving the middle or higher rate of Disability Living Allowance or the daily living component of a Personal Independent Payment. The DWP has also provided around £1 billion in Discretionary Housing Payment funding since 2011, enabling local authorities to protect the most vulnerable.
Last summer, the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy was published. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.
I know this is not the answer you are hoping for, but I can assure you that action is being taken to tackle homelessness and I will continue to support improvements.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP