Charity warns benefit cuts could leave young people homeless
The YMCA charity has said that plans to remove housing benefit payments for young people aged 18-21 who are jobless could result in a rise in homelessness.
The YMCA has said that thousands of young people with vulnerabilities could become homeless due to the government’s plans to remove housing benefit payments to those who are unemployed aged between 18-21, reports the Guardian.
The charity has said: “The government could be in danger of inadvertently taking away support from the young people who need it most, and in doing so, exposing many more vulnerable young people to the risk of becoming homeless.”
The government have said that their plan will remove the incentive for young people to leave home and live on benefits. They hope it will save £135m over four years, however the YMCA say that savings are more likely to be around £3m due to the knock-on costs to public services dealing with increased homelessness.
Denise Hatton, the chief executive of YMCA England, said: “In seeking to tackle those small numbers taking advantage of the system, the government is in real danger of inadvertently taking away support from some of the country’s most vulnerable young people.
“In removing automatic entitlement to housing benefit, young people could face the prospect of losing not only a safety net but also a springboard that helps get them up and get their lives back on track.”
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “This report is deliberately misleading since we have been very clear that vulnerable young people including care-leavers and people with children will be exempt from this policy. We want to make sure young people get the support they need to move into work and do not slip straight into a life on benefits.”
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