Representatives of the landlords association, tenant groups, property websites and mortgage providers are set to meet with Ministers in a bid to tackle discrimination against people on housing benefit in the private rental sector.
The Housing Minister Heather Wheeler believes adverts which specify that people on housing benefit cannot rent the property should be banned and she is calling on landlords and letting agents to stop saying No to DSS claimants.
Out of the 4.5 million households living in the private rental sector, currently, around 889,000 households receive housing benefit to help pay their rent.
However, despite this, the latest figures which surveyed 149 letting agents have revealed that around half of landlords would not be willing to let to tenants on housing benefit.
The calls for an end to ‘No DSS’ advertising have come following a Government announcement that it would be allocating £19.5 million to 54 local authorities to support homeless or those at threat of being homeless to secure a property.
This support will see people given money to pay deposits to landlords or money towards their first months’ rent so properties that would otherwise be out of reach can be secured.
Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance believes that everyone should have the same opportunity when looking for a home, regardless of whether they are in receipt of benefits.
He added that under the Universal Credit system, rent payments could be paid directly to landlords but said the Government would be looking for feedback from landlords on how to improve the system.
The move was welcomed by homelessness charity Centrepoint, whilst the Residential Landlords Association think that tenants to be given the option to have Universal Credit paid directly to landlords, and remove mortgage terms that prevent landlords from renting to claimants.