Housing Benefit (England, Scotland and Wales) - What is Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit is money to help you with your housing costs if you are on a low income. Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit.
- Last reviewed 25 September 2023
What is Housing Benefit?
Housing Benefit is money to help you with your housing costs if you are on a low income. It can help with rent and some service charges. Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit. Please go to 'Can I get Housing Benefit?' page of this guide for information on who can still claim. If you've received a notice letter telling you to claim Universal Credit, read our guide Universal Credit Migration Notice to find out about your next steps.
If you qualify, Housing Benefit can be paid whether or not you are working.
If you are a private tenant, the amount of Housing Benefit you get may be restricted by the Local Housing Allowance Rate in your area. If you are a social tenant, it could be restricted by the number of bedrooms you have under the 'Bedroom Tax'.
A Benefit Cap may be applied to your Housing Benefit if the total amount of certain benefits that you get is more than a specified amount. Your Housing Benefit could be reduced in this case.
Mortgages or home loans
You cannot get Housing Benefit to help with the costs of a mortgage or home loan. If you own the home you live in, you may be able to get a loan for mortgage interest if you are getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Pension Credit or Universal Credit.
Applies to: England, Scotland and Wales
If you live in Northern Ireland, see our Housing Benefit (Northern Ireland) guide.
Age rules: There are no specific age rules that affect Housing Benefit entitlement but you must be old enough to enter into a tenancy agreement.
Type of benefit: Means-tested
Administered by: Your local council
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