‘Hitting Home: Single People, Housing Benefit Reform and Equalities Law’ is an Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research project run by Dr Eleanor Wilkinson at the University of Southampton. The project focuses upon the increased age-threshold for the Shared Accommodation Rate of Local Housing Allowance (which in 2012 was increased from 25 to 35). Prior to 2012, 25-34 year olds could claim Local Housing Allowance for a 1-bedroom property, but after 2012 the maximum rate of housing benefit was reduced to the rate of a single room in a shared house.

This research project seeks to gather the views of people who have been affected by the increased age-threshold for the Shared Accommodation Rate. We want to hear from you if any of the following apply:

  • You are currently in receipt of the Shared Accommodation Rate.
  • You have previously been in receipt of the Shared Accommodation Rate.
  • The Shared Accommodation Rate is so low that you do not claim it, and instead live with parents, family or friends

To take part in this project you can fill in a brief questionnaire about your experiences (which should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete). Click here to complete this questionnaire online. Alternatively, if you want to take this questionnaire by phone, or be sent a paper copy then please email us at lhacuts@soton.ac.uk or call us on 07403 426 113

We are also looking for people who would be willing to take part in one-to-one interviews with one of our researchers. For the interviews a researcher will travel to you and will meet at a place and time that is convenient for you. If you take part in an interview you will receive £20 for your time. Please visit our ‘participate’ page for further information about taking part in this research project.

The success of this project relies on us reaching as many people as possible who have been affected by the Shared Accommodation Rate, so please share this website through your networks. We also have posters and flyers available to distribute, so if you’re a front-line member of staff who works with people in housing need then please contact us if you think you might be able to help us advertise the project through your networks.