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Young people, housing benefit and the risk society

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Publication details

JournalSocial Policy and Administration
DatePublished - Dec 2001
Issue number6
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)688-700
Original languageEnglish


This paper draws on debates about the risk society to examine the impact of the "single room rent", a restriction in the housing benefit scheme that applies to single people under 25 living in privately rented housing. Drawing on qualitative interviews in six localities in England, the paper examines young people's ability to gain access to and afford privately rented accommodation while receiving housing benefit. It argues that the single room rent restriction has not only cut their housing benefit entitlement but also created more uncertainty for young people. Consequently, it has enhanced rather than ameliorated the risks faced by young people on low incomes in the private rental housing market.

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