Benefit cuts risk homelessness for young people

Cuts in benefits for young people are putting them at greater risk of becoming homeless, according to a new survey.

The campaign group Homeless Link asked 117 homeless charities and 101 local authority housing services to give their assessment of how benefit changes are affecting young people.

Key findings

  • 65 per cent of local authorities report a negative impact on the ability of young people to access private rented accommodation, due to the extension of the 'shared accommodation rate' of housing benefit to people under 35 (rather than under 25). The shared accommodation rate imposes a lower rate of housing benefit on young people, based on the assumption they are sharing with others.
  • Almost one-half of local authorities report that capping the housing allowance is having a similar impact for young people.
  • 36 per cent of homelessness organisations report mental or physical health problems increasing among young people since 2011.
  • 54 per cent of homelessness organisations say local youth services have closed in their areas since 2011. 60 per cent say there is less accommodation available for young people receiving support to move on to.
  • 66 per cent of young people supported by homelessness organisations become homeless because of relationship breakdowns with family, friends or a partner.

SourceYoung & Homeless 2012, Homeless Link
LinksReport | Homeless Link press release | Depaul UK press release