FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday 18 April 2023
New survey finds that over half of people surveyed living in Greater London are worried about eviction* due to increased cost of living and 2 in 3 are unable to afford the basics**
Youth homelessness charity Depaul UK launches a major appeal to help young people at risk of homelessness rebuild their lives.
A youth homelessness charity has launched an urgent appeal to help prevent young people living in London falling back into homelessness.
A new survey by Depaul UK highlights how vulnerable people are struggling to keep their lives on track because of rising costs. It found that more than half (50.9 per cent) of people surveyed living in Greater London are worried about eviction* due to increased cost of living, and 2 in 3 (67%) surveyed living in the capital said they’re struggling to afford the basics, including food, travel and heating**.
In addition, the survey found that over 1 in 3 (34%) people surveyed in Greater London have missed vital appointments regarding jobs, housing or benefits due to the cost of travel, or lack enough phone credit/ phone charge to make the necessary calls.
High rents (55%) and family breakdown due to rising costs of living (34%) are the main causes for housing insecurity for those who think that their current living situation is unstable or that they could be evicted.
Cliff Dymond, Area Director for London at Depaul UK said:
“These figures are deeply concerning, but not surprising. We’re witnessing the effects of the cost-of-living crisis daily. What’s so worrying is the huge threat to the futures of young people across London, especially those trying hard to rebuild their lives after homelessness.
“If a young person can’t make ends meet, they risk eviction and the devastating possibility of returning to homelessness. We cannot allow this to happen, because out there they are exposed to increased risks around criminal exploitation, poor mental health and loss of hope for a better future.
“Many young people experiencing homelessness who have managed to come so far to secure their future are now struggling to keep their lives on track because of increased living costs. That’s why our team works hard to help them as much as possible, but demand for our services has never been greater. We urgently need donations to cover the increased costs to support young people experiencing homelessness”
Claudia***, 23, from Wandsworth was in and out of care homes growing up, and also lived with a mixture of foster parents. At 18, Claudia left care and went into a flatshare where she had to learn quickly about budgeting and being independent. Claudia now lives alone and works full-time as a young person’s advocate. Despite being employed, she still struggles to make ends meet and reached out to Depaul UK last year because she was worried about her living situation, and also needed some support with her mental health.
“I was referred to Depaul UK late last year as I was having a lot of mental health difficulties which were affecting my bills and other things went down with it. I don’t get enough to be able to budget properly because everything, including rent, gas and electric bills have gone up. Sometimes it’s choosing between food or electricity. If you’re not feeling great with your mental health and you can’t eat at the same time, then it’s not a great combination.
“I think things can impact care leavers more as we don’t have a family that we can go back to – we can’t go to our parents’ house and raid the fridge, and we’re literally by ourselves. It’s hard because we’ve come out of care so we’re dealing with a lot of trauma. This is another obstacle to go through. I’m so glad Depaul UK is here to support us, I don’t know what I’d do without them.”
Victoria****, 22 lives in London and says although she’s already come so far in her life and positive mindset, she says it can be hard to find motivation sometimes because of financial pressure.
“It can be demotivating sometimes to feel you have no money no matter how far I’ve come, so yes, sometimes it feels the world is against you. When I left university, I became instantly homeless, and I stayed with a friend for a while before I was helped find temporary accommodation, which is where I am now.
“At the moment, I’m focused on my business and marketing course, and most importantly, my mental health and wellbeing. Depaul UK is a great support to me because my coach helps me budget and makes sure I’ve got a routine to stick to each day. But I can see how stretched their services are, and how many people they have to help each day – they can only do so much with what they have.
“I live on around £200 a month, and sometimes spiral into negative thinking, and feel hopeless because a scarcity mindset can kick in at times . But I pick myself up – I know things will get better, and Depaul UK makes life a little bit easier to have hope for the future.”
Achraf***, 22 lives in London. He moved here in 2020 and is supported by Depaul UK. He said:
“When I came to the UK seeking asylum four years ago, I had very little. However, thanks to the help of Depaul UK I’m now studying IT full time and will be starting an apprenticeship next year. I don’t have much money to live on currently, but I’m dedicated to my studies and making a better life for myself. Of course, living in London I do find everything is very expensive, so I must stick to a very tight budget. Depaul helped me manage my money, they provide me with accommodation, so I have somewhere safe to live, and help me with my paperwork. It’s a very challenging time now because of the increased cost of living, but thanks to the support I am given I am excited for the future.”
In support of the appeal, Sir Trevor McDonald, Depaul UK Patron said:
“For more than 20 years I have been proudly associated with Depaul UK and the problem of homelessness is as acute today as it was then. Please join me in supporting this campaign to tackle the devastating impact of the cost-of-living crisis on young people.”
Depaul UK provides mental health support, financial assistance and money management advice, it tries to get people better utility deals and supports them to deal with arrears. The charity helps people access food banks and apply for hardship funds, but demand for all of these services is growing rapidly.
You can donate to Depaul UK’s Cost of Living Crisis appeal to help keep a young person from falling back into homelessness by visiting www.depaul.org.uk/urgent-appeal-cost-of-living-crisis
This video by Depaul UK explains more about how the cost-of-living is affecting young people: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCu_FfIcG9E
Notes to Editors
For case studies, interviews and image enquiries please contact Communications@depaul.org.uk
*Combination of those who stated they were ‘Very worried’ or ‘Worried’
** Combination of those who responded ‘Frequently’, ‘Regularly’ or ‘Sometimes’
***Names have been changed to protect identities
The survey was carried out on behalf of Depaul UK with 2,002 respondents (aged 16-34) from the North East, Manchester and London. There were 668 respondents from London.
About Depaul UK