Welfare cuts will make 1,000 vulnerable young Scots homeless

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​Warning an extra 1,000 young Scots will be made homeless if Tories' housing benefit cap gets enforced 

28th July 2015 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

“Catastrophic” Tory welfare cuts could leave 1,000 young Scots homeless according to a leading charity.

George Osborne’s latest budget, in which he announced plans to scythe £12 billion off Britain’s welfare bill, will create a “homeless timebomb” according to Shelter Scotland.

The chancellor announced plans to axe housing benefit for 18-21 year olds as part of the cuts.

However, Shelter chief executive Graeme Brown believes the draconian move will swell the ranks of the country’s young homeless – a figure which currently sits at 36,000.

He now wants the Scottish Government to intervene and mitigate the impact on young people, similar to the measures taken to help those affected by the bedroom tax north of the border. 

If they become homeless, they’re more likely to have a repeat episode of homelessness later in life - Graeme Brown

“Young people are particularly vulnerable to homelessness. They may have to leave home due to abuse or neglect, or have been in care. Every person has a different story.

“If they become homeless, they’re more likely to have a repeat episode of homelessness later in life."

With the government failing for decades to meet housing and homelessness targets and a new raft of cuts about to be put in place, Brown said the outlook for homeless people was bleak.

“The impact is going to be catastrophic. There are nearly 2,900 young people on housing benefit. If just one in three were put in that difficulty then it’s absolutely possible 1,000 will become homeless,” he said.

There are currently 150,000 people on housing waiting lists and 10,500, including 4,000 children, in temporary accommodation.

Brown added: “There’s been decades of under-investment in housing and we’re paying the price.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "Preventing homelessness is a priority for the Scottish Government and homelessness, including amongst young people, has fallen in recent years.

“We provide funding and support for Housing Options Hubs, which promote prevention by allowing people facing homelessness to explore all possible tenure options. This includes shared tenancies, and help with personal issues like dealing with housing benefit reforms, debt advice, mediation or mental health issues.

“Deeper cuts will only impact further on some of the most vulnerable people in our society. That is why over the next few months we are listening to the people affected by the UK government’s welfare changes and cuts, and getting their views on how we can create a system that suits their needs. 

"We will set out our proposals [in due course] once the UK Government have confirmed whether they will deliver to us the full social security and employment powers included in the Smith Commission - and whether they will listen to our proposals for additional powers to enable Scotland to provide a more comprehensive approach to social security and getting people into work.”

28th July 2015 by simpson

they have said ther will be exemptoins as an MSP who previously spent 18 years as medical adviser on fostering i hope that the list of exemptoins will be inclusive for foster children. And forcing any young people back into a household which is abusive would be an infringementof their humna rights. when do we get to see the exemptions? RS