Minister Will Quince MP today (Wednesday, 16 October) visited homelessness charity Depaul UK – and was asked to make changes to Universal Credit, especially the Local Housing Allowance.

Mr Quince had a tour of the charity’s Endeavour Centre, which is home to Nightstop London and Depaul’s family mediation service in London, met young people who have experienced homelessness and talked with CEO Mike Thiedke.

Mr Thiedke said: “It was a pleasure to host the Minister today at our head office. He has been supportive of Depaul’s work over several years and shown a commitment to tackling homelessness in his current ministerial position and in his previous role as Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ending Homelessness.

“My colleagues and the young people we work with really appreciated the chance to discuss their experiences of the benefits system with the Minister.

“At Depaul UK, we recognise that Universal Credit can help people to escape homelessness, but there is work to be done to ensure the system works for the people who need it most. The Local Housing Allowance should be brought into line with the real cost of renting.”

He added: “I also asked Mr Quince for the age limit of care leavers’ exemption from the shared accommodation rate to be raised to 25, so that they don’t have to move out when they turn 22; and for the government to get rid of the five week wait for Universal Credit.”

After his visit, Mr Quince said: “We greatly value the work of Depaul and today’s visit has been a good opportunity to take a fresh look at the root causes of youth homelessness through young people’s lived experience.

“Together with my colleagues across government, we will continue to do more to understand homelessness better, find the answers and provide support where it is needed most.”

Depaul UK, which is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery among other funders, provides emergency accommodation and works to prevent homelessness amongst young people by delivering housing advice, supported accommodation, counselling, family support and education work in schools.

Last year, Depaul’s services supported more than 3,200 people nationally who were homeless or at risk of homelessness.