|Ed Sheeran is supporting Crisis with the No Going Home campaign
The charity warns that going home is not an option for most people and to save £1.8bn in benefits risks condemning thousands of vulnerable young people to homelessness.
Most of the 385,000 people who are under 25 and claiming housing benefits are working, looking for work, sick or disabled, and more than half of them are parents who are raising children.
The prime minister’s answer to save the money from this housing benefit claim is for them to move back in with their parents, with the only exemption being those who have suffered domestic violence; but Crisis believe this is not possible for the majority of this group, and this would leave them homeless:
Last year ten thousand people were accepted as homeless because their parents would not or could not house them and more than a third of homeless people were aged 16-24.
Many young people have fled violence or abuse in the family home, others have children of their own or are working where they live. In many cases parents won’t have the space to house them or will have moved away. For many young people, housing benefit is all that stands between them and homelessness.
– Crisis | News Article
On Monday, Crisis launched No Going Home as a response to the governments suggested benefit cut and asks you to “add your voice to the campaign“.
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said:
It would be unworkable and irresponsible to withdraw housing benefit from under-25s at a time of high rents and youth unemployment.
There is no way that those fleeing abusive home lives or those whose parents can’t house them could be protected if this plan goes ahead. We fear that if housing support is abolished for people under 25 then tens of thousands of young people will be made homeless.
These are people who just need a little help as they start out on their adult lives, not an arbitrary and ill thought-through cut.
They have pointed out that the proposals, on a less personal scale, would also be economically counterproductive. Two-thirds of young jobseekers find work within six months and are likely to struggle to find employment if they are forced to move away from where the jobs are and could find themselves facing long-term unemployment.
Crisis also says the plans sit oddly with other government policies – including the “bedroom tax”, which seeks to encourage people in social housing to move to a smaller property once their children have left home.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said:
We’re looking at a range of options for future reforms to the welfare system; no decisions have been made.
Any changes would affect future claimants only and we would still ensure that vulnerable people remain protected.