18 Aug 2016

In response to the Communities and Local Government Committee’s parliamentary inquiry into homelessness, Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society, said:

'This important inquiry rightly recognises the urgent need to tackle homelessness across Britain. Too often The Children’s Society sees young people — and particularly care leavers — are being put at risk of not having a stable place to live as a result of inadequate support with housing costs.

'Plans to exclude many 18-21 year olds from entitlement to Housing Benefit, as well as a four year freeze on help with rents in the private rental sector, put young people at further risk. The Government needs to make sure that all young people in need can access housing support, and that help with costs for those renting privately reflects actual local rents.

'Too often young people leaving care face getting into debt on their rent and council tax. It is crucial that the Government allows this group to have their housing benefit paid directly to their landlord when they are struggling to manage their bills. Also, it is vital that the Government makes care leavers exempt from paying council tax until they are 21.

'Homelessness among young people is at crisis point. All parts of government involved in making decisions about young people’s futures must work together to develop a coordinated plan committed to ending youth homelessness once and for all.'

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Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. We also campaign for changes to laws affecting children and young people, to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future. Our supporters around the country fund our services and join our campaigns to show children and young people they are on their side.