Specified accommodation

1. Working-age residents living in supported housing that meets the relevant UC/ HB definition occupy “specified accommodation” for HB purposes.1The Universal Credit Regulations 2013/376 sch 1 para 3A; The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006/213, reg 75H

Types of specified accommodation

2. The four types of supported housing that meet the definition of “specified accommodation” are:

  1. exempt accommodation;2Universal Credit Regulations 2013/376, sch 1 paras 3A(2); Housing Benefit Regulations 2006/213, 75H(2)
  2. managed property;3Universal Credit Regulations 2013/376, sch 1 paras 3A(3); Housing Benefit Regulations 2006/213, 75H(3)
  3. a temporary refuge where the claimant has left home as a result of domestic violence;4Universal Credit Regulations 2013/376, sch 1 paras 3A(4); Housing Benefit Regulations 2006/213, 75H(4) and
  4. a local authority owned or managed hostel where the claimant receives care, support or supervision.5Universal Credit Regulations 2013/376, sch 1 paras 3A(5); Housing Benefit Regulations 2006/213, 75H(5)

Purpose of the “specified accommodation” definition

Exclusion from UC help with housing costs 

3. Working age claimants in receipt of UC living in specified accommodation are not entitled to UC help with their housing costs.6Welfare Reform Act 2012, s 11, Universal Credit Regulations 2013/376, sch 1 paras 2, 3(h), 3A Help with their housing costs is provided by the HB scheme.

Advantages of exclusion from UC help with housing costs

4. The exclusion of UC claimants from UC help with housing costs has a number of advantages for the landlords of such accommodation: 

  1. higher rents may be subject to less restriction in the assistance provided; and
  2. HB in these circumstances may be paid directly to the landlord on request.

HB for specified accommodation excluded from the benefit cap 

5. Working age claimants in receipt of HB and living in “specified accommodation” do not have their weekly HB award included in the calculation of the benefit cap. They potentially get a higher amount of total benefit income.7Welfare Reform Act 2012, s96, 96A, 97; Housing Benefit Regulations 2006/213, 75A, 75H

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