Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

£12billion in welfare cuts will make many homeless

Press Releases

£12billion 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, warns East London based homeless charity.

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 in East London, 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 find out more about the charity and what they do, please visit their website at

Alternatively, if you would like to make a donation towards their work, please send a cheque payable to Caritas Anchor House to 81 Barking Road, London E16 4HB.


Jazmine Sandison, Marketing and Communications
Caritas Anchor House, 81 Barking Road, London E16 4HB
Phone: 020 7476 6062


Caritas Anchor House is a nationally acclaimed flagship project addressing the root causes of homelessness – such as poor education, substance misuse, mental health problems, domestic violence or a history of offending – and create sustainable solutions that ensure the people we help will never find themselves in that situation again. 

It is a registered charity providing accommodation for up to 220 single homeless people each year aged 19 to 65. It gives so much more than just a roof over their heads and provides a wide range of accredited vocational training courses in construction, electrical, plumbing and distance learning for both residents and the local community. In practical terms, this means not only giving our residents the skills and confidence they need to rebuild their lives and move on to independent living, but also serving the community as a whole. 

The charity is located in Canning Town, in the London Borough of Newham, the third most deprived borough in England and Wales.