The government’s plans to exclude 18-21-year-olds from housing benefits are set to go ahead this month. While full-time students can’t claim housing benefits, this new policy may also affect young graduates.
Plans to reduce benefits for young people were announced by George Osbourne and David Cameron in 2015 and are set to be enacted this April. No date was formally given.
Theresa May’s spokesperson has stated that the policy’s aim “is to ensure that young people don’t go straight from school and on to a life of benefits”.
Even though this new policy includes exceptions, including “vulnerable young people”, several organisations warn that it could lead to an increase in homelessness, as many young people cannot move in with their parents. Many will have suffered abuse at home, or their parents refuse to accommodate them.
Centrepoint warns that it could leave 9,000 young people without a place to live, citing that “the exceptions are going to be a nightmare to prove”. Shelter stated in a leaflet from 2015 that 19,894 young people received housing benefits in 2014. without housing benefits, “it would become much harder for those affected to find a stable home and rebuild their lives”.