The press release issued by the Department for Work and Pensions on 3 April 2023.
An additional 200,000 Universal Credit claimants will be able to access quicker support with their mortgage from today.
- Support for Mortgage Interest loan scheme extended to 200,000 additional Universal Credit claimants in efforts to support more households with the cost of living
- They will be able to access help towards mortgage interest on their home or certain home improvements worth up to £200,000 after three months on Universal Credit
- Support will be automatically offered to qualifying claimants after three months on Universal Credit
Previously, claimants would need to have been unemployed for nine months before they could access a Support for Mortgage Interest loan, which helps them cover interest payments for a mortgage, or a home repairs and improvements loan, whilst they seek work.
Today’s reforms, which were announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, mean claimants will be able to receive the support after just three months of being on Universal Credit, and in another change they now do not have to be unemployed to do so. They will also be able to re-claim the support if they leave Universal Credit but return within six months.
Mims Davies, Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, said:
The fear of losing your home when you have fallen on difficult times is incredibly stressful and makes getting back on your feet all the more difficult.
This increased support is an important lifeline to help provide stability for those who are seeking to find work and move back towards long-term prosperity.
Support for Mortgage Interest loans will now be automatically offered to claimants by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if they qualify after three months on Universal Credit – they do not need to do anything to receive this offer.
The loans are designed to help claimants with the interest on mortgages or loans for certain home improvements, such as repairs or improvements to keep their home habitable or to adapt them for people with disabilities, whilst they are on Universal Credit. Even if claimants reject the offer of a loan initially, as long as they are still eligible, they can start claiming it at any point.
The loan needs to be repaid when claimants sell their home, though no one will be asked to sell their home in order to repay it. If needed, claimants can contact the DWP about transferring the loan to a new home.
More widely, the Government is projected to have spent £28.5 billion supporting renters in 2022/23, whilst the Affordable Homes Programme, worth £11.5 billion, will deliver more affordable homes across the country, including tens of thousands for social rent.
The Government has also provided over £1.5 billion for Discretionary Housing Payments since 2012, whilst Local Housing Allowance rates were increased above inflation during the pandemic and have been maintained since to provide housing support to Universal Credit claimants.
- Support for Mortgage Interest loans are available for people on the following qualifying benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- For more information on Support for Mortgage Interest, please visit www.gov.uk/support-for-mortgage-interest or speak to your work coach.
- Support for Mortgage Interest payments are made directly to the lender every month.
- Today’s changes come in addition to extensive support with the Cost of Living, including a year-long extension to the Household Support Fund. Worth over £2 billion in its lifetime, the fund is designed to help the most vulnerable with the cost of food and energy essentials.
- And the Government is directly paying £301 to over 8 million people on means-tested benefits from 25 April to help with the cost of living. Further payments worth £300 and £299 will be made later in the financial year, whilst additional payments of £300 for pensioners and £150 for disabled people will also be made in 2023, meaning some people will receive up to £1,350 in direct Government support.