BOLTON South-East MP Yasmin Qureshi is urging the government to ease the upper limit on rents that can be claimed for housing benefit by homeless under-25s.

Currently tenants aged under 35 can only receive government welfare cash for the local cost of renting a room in a shared house even if they live alone.

Labour's Ms Qureshi last month wrote to the Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey asking for homeless under-25s to be exempted from the cap.

Welfare minister Will Quince replied.

Ms Qureshi said: "Unfortunately he has ruled out including under-25s in the Shared Accommodation Rate exemption for homeless people.

"He says that because ordinary, single, working age people cannot afford rents, that it would be unfair for the taxpayer to pay the rents of single, working age people on benefits.

"The obvious take-away from this is that something should be done to address our ludicrously unaffordable housing market. However, the government has no plans to do so.

"Until significant steps are taken to reform the housing sector, homelessness will continue to plague our country."