Are under 22’s soon to be homeless?
The government is to axe housing benefits for 18-21 year olds who are jobless. This has been branded an “utter disgrace” towards those who are vulnerable and have no family and rely on housing benefits to keep a roof over their heads.
George Osbourne the former chancellor announced his plans back in 2015 Budget to force the young unemployed to either live with parents or pay their own way. This was put on hold after a government backlash. However, the government is now to make proposals that under 22 year olds will no longer get help with their rents.
The change which will be debated in the commons is thought to affect approximately 11,000 people. This will cut £105m from the benefits bill by 2020 according to the DWP.
Labour has hit back saying that this could potentially see thousands of young people sleeping rough and claimed this contradicts government pledges dealing with homelessness.
Damian Green the Work and Pensions Secretary laid these new regulations late Friday when the house was not sitting which has caused much anger amongst some MP’s.
John Healey, Shadow Housing Minister said: “This disgraceful cut to housing support will leave thousands of young people with nowhere to go.”
“Many could end up on the streets.”
“These young people are old enough to fight for their country, but in Theresa May’s Britain not old enough to get the same help with housing costs as everyone else.”
Tim Farron the Liberal Democratic Leader said: “These cuts are an utter disgrace. Many of our most vulnerable young people rely on housing benefit for a roof over their head, especially if they have no family to turn to.”
However, the DWP will provide exemptions for those that are in threat to domestic violence by their parents in cases that the DWP judges to be inappropriate. The policy further exempts those with dependent children.
National Landlords Association CEO, Richard Lambert, said: “The Government has effectively closed the door to private rented housing for some of the most vulnerable individuals in society.
“Never mind the nuances, all landlords will hear is that 18-21 year olds are no longer entitled to housing benefit.
“Faced with a young person who may not be able to pay the rent, a landlord won’t worry about the details of their life, they just won’t consider them as a tenant.”
However, DWP spokesperson has said: “We want to make sure that 18 to 21-year-olds do not slip straight into a life on benefits, which is why we are helping young people get the training, skills and experience they need to move into a job and build a career,” he said.
“This Government is delivering on its commitment to ensure young people in the benefit system face the same choices as young people who work but may not be able to afford to leave home.”