The Future Cost of Housing Benefit for Older People

The Future Cost of Housing Benefit for Older People

Amid growing concern about ‘generation rent’, what will Housing Benefit for pensioners cost the Exchequer in future?

There is growing awareness that among today’s younger generation, a larger proportion may rent throughout their life compared to previous cohorts.

However, in debate on ‘generation rent’, little consideration has been given to the fact that most people who rent in retirement rely on state support for their housing costs, in the form of means tested Housing Benefit.

This report therefore explores how trends in longevity and tenure will affect the future cost of Housing Benefit for older people in the very long term.

Using projections of owner-occupation rates and the number of retirees in 2060, the report finds that the UK Exchequer will have to spend an extra £8.13 billion on Housing Benefit for pensioners each year compared to today.

The report argues that debate on declining rates of home-ownership must recognise the long-term implications for public spending, and given these future costs, it is legitimate  for the government to take aggressive measures to boost rates of home-ownership now.

Author: James Lloyd, Strategic Society Centre

Download the report: The Future Cost of Housing Benefit for Older People

Read about the report in the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and City AM.

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