Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of the National Council of YMCAs, responds to Government regulations introduced today that will remove automatic entitlement to housing support for young people aged 18 to 21 years old.
She said: “By removing automatic entitlement to housing support, the Government is in real danger of taking away a vital safety net from some of the country’s most vulnerable young people.
“While the Government has listened to the advice from YMCA and the sector by putting in place a number of exemptions to protect vulnerable groups it is hard to get away from the fact that, in practice, this policy is completely unworkable.
“This policy creates a ‘catch 22’ situation for the very people it intends to protect. In its current state, landlords will be unwilling to give a tenancy to this age group because they cannot provide proof they will be able access housing support while, at the same, young people will be unable to claim housing support until they have a tenancy.
“Given the fundamental flaw at the heart of this policy, YMCA is calling on the Government to abandon plans to introduce the new arrangements, at least until this problem can be addressed.”
YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of supported accommodation for homeless young people in the country and more than 18,000 predominantly homeless young people stay in our supported accommodation every year.
In August 2015, YMCA released its Uncertain Futures research report, looking into the impact of removing automatic entitlement to housing support to young people aged 18 to 21 years old. Read our recommendations.