Uplift of Local Housing Allowance Rate
The cost-of-living crisis has driven many people into poverty and has increased the risk of homelessness. Local authorities are inundated with homelessness requests and housing options are limited for many people. Setting the Local Housing Allowance to the fiftieth percentile will help reduce cases of rent arrears and ensure stability for landlords and tenants as well as help recipients receive better accommodation.
Reform of Universal Credit
Like in Scotland, Universal Credit claimants should be free to choose if they want to receive their benefits twice monthly or once a month. Furthermore, to tackle rent arrears, the Universal Credit advance should be transformed into a non-repayable grant from the first day of the claim. The current system causes many people to go into cash flow problems.
Suspension of the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR)
SARs place a cap on the amount of assistance that can be provided through the benefits system. We are calling for a suspension of these rates. Claimants are eligible to receive money to cover the cost of a single room in a shared house with a shared kitchen and bathroom. According to research from the Yorkshire Building Society, under-35s spend two-thirds of their weekly expenditure on essentials.
Make homes more energy-efficient
The UK Government must issue a combination of grants, loans, and help with survey costs to incentivise landlords and homeowners. We believe this can help homes become more energy efficient, ensure the UK Government meets its net-zero targets, and reduce long-term costs for homeowners.
Reversal of Section 24 of the Finance Act
Propertymark is calling on the UK Government to look at landlords as a small business and to allow them to claim 100 per cent of their mortgage interest. When George Osborne removed mortgage interest relief in 2015, the costs for landlords increased significantly and disincentivised the number of people wanting to enter the private rental sector.