Young people at risk of homelessness won’t benefit enough from Government promise – reacting to the Chancellor’s speech and Autumn Statement today, Alexia Murphy, Interim CEO for Depaul UK said:

“We welcome the news that the government has finally removed the freeze on local housing rates but are disappointed they have not gone far enough to protect young people experiencing homelessness right now.

“In the first half of this year alone, we’ve seen a huge increase of 30 per cent in referrals to our emergency accommodation service, Nightstop. This is mainly due to years of spiralling bills and low incomes, which has led to people struggling to pay the rent.

“The huge financial pressure people are under is also exacerbating homelessness. We must remember that behind each statistic is a human being who is struggling to survive without a home and young people are particularly vulnerable.

“Most people we support want to work but often it’s difficult for them to hold down a job without a settled place to live. In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, our younger clients who rely on benefits are finding it especially hard to pay for basic things like food and clothing. It’s unfair that they will still receive less than older people.

“Depaul UK has worked with the Government to provide additional accommodation for people who are sleeping rough, but funding for this is coming to an end.

“Ultimately, much more is needed, and the UK government need to act urgently to build more truly affordable housing, end the unfair discrimination against young people in the welfare system and tackle rough sleeping.”