Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

£12 billion in welfare cuts will make many homeless

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£12 billion in welfare cuts will make many homeless

8th January 2014

The Chancellor’s plan to cut housing benefit for the under 25s could have devastating consequences, warned the Caritas Anchor House Director today.

George Osborne made the announcement this week that £25 billion worth of cuts will be needed after the next election, with the welfare budget being the hardest hit.

Housing benefits for those under 25 will form a substantial part of this cut, with the Chancellor saying that the benefits seem “unfair to hard-working 25-year-olds who could not afford their own homes and have to live with parents”.

“[The welfare budget] is ultimately where you can find substantial savings,” he said. “£12 billion of further welfare cuts are needed.”

Keith Fernett, Director of Caritas Anchor House, slammed the chancellor’s plans, saying that the cuts will only increase the already staggering numbers of homeless people in the capital.

“Until the chancellor finds solutions for the housing crisis, rising unemployment and homelessness, removing more benefits from young people will only cause further difficulties.

“It is becoming a lot tougher, particularly for young people, to secure employment or access education options. Higher numbers of people are finding themselves in need of support and removing their benefits will not resolve this problem.”

In three years, the numbers of young people sleeping rough in London has more than doubled and new research shows 8% of 16-24 year olds report recently being homeless.

Ishma, a resident of Caritas Anchor House, experienced homelessness herself and insisted that for some under-25s, housing benefit is a necessity.

Having left home aged 21, following years of domestic violence, Ishma said the money she receives goes straight towards subsidising the cost of her room.

“Without this help I would have had no option but to continue living at my family home. Young people who leave home after a family breakdown or suffering from domestic abuse don’t have enough options. Being too old to go into care, this is a necessity.”

Caritas Anchor House works with people like Ishma every day, helping them get back on their feet and into independent living. To make a donation, please click here.

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