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Turn2us warning about rise in youth homelessness

  • 13/03/2017

This article is over a year old

Young adults have limited awareness of how the welfare benefit system can help them

Universal Credit, Homelessness, Young people

Turn2us is warning of the serious consequences of the upcoming changes to the provision of housing support for young adults.

From next month, young people aged 18 to 21 who make a new claim for Universal Credit and who are out of work will not be automatically entitled to housing support. There will be some exceptions for vulnerable people who can’t live with their parents and for those who were in work for at least six months before making a claim. However, Turn2us says that this is going to leave those who don’t fall into these categories, but without the means to pay rent, even more vulnerable to homelessness.

The charity says that it has a significant number of people aged 18 to 21 seeking its help and that they tend to have a more limited awareness of how the welfare benefit system can help them. It is also concerned that many will not be aware of the upcoming change to the provision of housing support for young adults.

Turn2us says that the impact of the change needs to be monitored carefully, particularly if it leads to a rise in homelessness among young adults.

Turn2us Chief Executive's comments

Outlining the charity’s concerns, Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, said: “Those only recently eligible for support of this kind are less likely to understand what help is available to them and the range of ways that they can seek help if they are struggling to pay their rent.

“This gives them a vulnerability if they find themselves in a situation where they cannot pay their rent and the implications of which are of particular concern, with evidence suggesting that younger people are more likely to turn to credit cards and payday loans to pay for essential items.”

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