Sunday, 21 June 2015

Youth homelessness expected to rise

"Plans to withdraw housing benefit for 18- to 21-year-olds threatens to decimate efforts to tackle youth homelessness and unemployment, YMCA England has warned..."

"The charity has issued the warning after figures commissioned from the Greater London Authority (GLA) show a steep rise in the number of 18- to 25-year-olds sleeping rough in the capital. The GLA’s Combined Homelessness and Information Network found there were 871 young people aged between 18 to 25 known to be sleeping rough in 2014/15, a 40 per cent increase on 2011/12’s figures and 16 per cent up on 2013/14."

"YMCA England predicts the figures will rise even further should the government plough ahead with plans to stop housing benefit payments for 18- to 21-year-olds. Liam Preston, YMCA England senior parliamentary and policy officer, said a key concern is the plight of vulnerable young people with no job or home who rely on housing benefit to access YMCA accommodation and its employability schemes. Preston said: "Where will the young people who can’t access housing benefit go?..."

"Plans to remove an automatic entitlement to housing support for 18- to 21-year-olds were announced in the Queens Speech and will form part of a proposed Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill. This includes plans to put in place a Youth Allowance with a strong focus on finding work or training placements. But Preston says the government is underestimating how vital housing benefit is to helping young people find work. .."

"In March, a report by The Children’s Society found that only half of homeless 16- and 17-year-olds asking their local councils for help received their legal entitlement to an assessment."


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