Homeless project for young people under threat due to cuts
- 03 Sep
With the removal of housing benefit for young people the involvement of a housing association with a £40m flagship homelessness programme is under threat.
Platform for Life was expected to attract interest from numerous housing associations with its scheme to convert properties into accommodation for young people in further education, training or work, reports Inside Housing.
The Department of Health fund was intended to cover the capital costs of the programme however housing associations were expecting rental income, underpinned by housing benefit to cover revenue costs. However with the removal of housing support for new claims in universal credit from unemployed young people from April 2017, concern has been raised.
St Basils, a West Midlands housing association, has written to homelessness minister Marcus Jones, asking if the programme will be exempt from the cuts, but has not yet received a reply. Chief executive Jean Templeton said there had been “no confirmation” on exemptions, which has given rise to concerns over the programme.
A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government was unable to say whether Platform for Life properties would be exempt. Certain supported accommodation is exempt from universal credit – and therefore from the 18 to 21 removal – however it is unclear whether this will apply to Platform for Life properties.
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life