Shut Out Campaign from Crisis: Young people, housing benefit and homelessness

From Crisis:

Homelessness is rising and younger adults are at particular risk. In the last three
years the number of young people sleeping on London’s streets has more than
doubled and new figures show 8% of 16-24 year olds report recently being homeless.

Between 2008/9 and 2011/12, living standards deteriorated faster for single under 35
year olds than for any other group, with the percentage not reaching an acceptable
standard of living rising from 29% to 42%1
. With almost a million young people
unemployed, falling wages and deep benefit cuts, this age groups is at particular risk
of homelessness. Many cannot even find a room to rent, never mind think about
buying a place of their own.

One of the major reasons young people are facing homelessness is because single
under 35 year olds looking for private rented accommodation are only entitled to a
lower rate of housing benefit, the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR). This rate is
based on the cost of a room in a shared house, rather than self contained
accommodation. In 2012, the SAR was extended to those under 35 (it previously
applied only to under 25 year olds), a change estimated to affect 62,500 people2
Crisis campaigned against this cut, which has created greater pressure on the limited
pool of shared accommodation available.

We believe that it is damaging and unfair to restrict young people to this lower rate.
We are also concerned that flaws in the way that the SAR is calculated mean it is
failing even to cover the rent for rooms in cheap shared houses.

See the full briefing on the Crisis website by clicking <a href=””>here


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