Stop The Ban On Housing Benefit For Young People Aged 18-21 Years.

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This week the Government have decided to cease providing Housing Benefit to young people aged 18-21 Years. This is the harrowing report from The Independent Newspaper today.

"More jobless youngers could be made to live on the streets as the Government moves ahead with plans to end housing support payments for under-21s.

The cut, which will apply to new Universal Credit claims made after April 1, was first announced by David Cameron and included in the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto.

Recent research by Heriot-Watt University found that once exemptions were included the policy would save just £3.3 million pounds. Researchers calculated that just 140 young people would have to be made homeless by the change for knock-on costs to mean the policy actually cost taxpayers more money overall.

Research by Housing charity Shelter reported earlier this found that five households are now being made homeless every hour.

A series of exemptions included in the legislation include people classed as vulnerable, families, and those who have been in work for at least six months prior to claiming – as well as those working at least 16 hours a week.

Roger Harding, director of campaigns, policy and communications at Shelter, warned that despite the exemptions “tampering with this vital safety net will result in more young people being left to fend for themselves on the streets”.

Despite calls by homelessness charities for Theresa May to break with her predecessor drop the policy, on Friday officials published secondary legislation to go ahead with the plans, while most MPs were at home in their constituencies.

 Charities have pointed out that the plan will save almost no money and could drive up homelessness, and disproportionately affect LGBT people or those estranged from their families. Ms May previously promised to build a “country that works for everyone” and has ditched some policies supported by Mr Cameron.

Labour’s shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey said the policy would make homelessness worse.

“This disgraceful cut to housing support will leave thousands of young people with nowhere to go. Many could end up on the streets,” he warned.

“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.

“Ministers would do well to remember that the shameful doubling of rough sleeping since 2010 is a direct result of decisions they have made. With this decision they will make the scandal of rising homelessness worse still.”

Taking care of vulnerable children and young people is my life's work. I may not generally involve myself in political agendas but I cannot stand by and watch this happen. Young people of that age group requiring Housing Benefit to survive will need it for a reason. Not because they are lazy, or can't be bothered to work. 

In addition to the groups mentioned in the Independent Newspaper article, within your remit as Secretary Of State for Department For Work and Pensions, I would like some liaison to occur between your team and Edward Timpson, Minister For Children.  I would like you also to give consideration to young people leaving the care system. I would also like it to be made public how the level of vulnerability is assessed and to be assured that this level of testing is fair and transparent.



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