Stephen has endorsed a campaign by the housing charity, Shelter, which demands that landlords and letting agents end the practice of screening out people on housing benefits from renting properties.
A recent survey of almost 4,000 private renters by YouGov found that almost a third of people receiving housing benefit said they hadn’t been able to rent a home due to a ‘No DSS’ policy in the last five years. This equates to hundreds and thousands of private renters nationally.
Under the Equality Act 2010, it’s unlawful to indirectly discriminate based on things like, gender, disability or race. ‘No DSS’ adverts and other exclusionary practices can breach the Act via indirect discrimination, as they disproportionately harm women and disabled people, who are more likely to receive housing benefit.
Speaking at a reception in the House of Commons, Stephen said: “I hope this campaign - finally - persuades landlords to end this form of discrimination. It is clearly dysfunctional and not working for huge swathes of those people on benefits.”