Research shows young people to bear brunt of rising homelessness

December 6th, 2012 in Other Sciences / Social Sciences

More people are becoming homeless in England as the impacts of cuts to housing benefit start to bite against the backdrop of the continuing economic downturn – with young people and families with children first in the firing line, new research has revealed.

The Homelessness Monitor is a major five-year independent study into the impact of the economic downturn and policy developments on homelessness across the UK. This is the second year of the study to be published by homelessness charity Crisis and undertaken by researchers from the University of York and Heriot-Watt University.

This new independent analysis highlights how homelessness in all its forms is continuing to rise in England. Reforms to welfare and , particularly cuts to housing benefit, are already having an impact and combined with the continuing economic downturn, making more people vulnerable to homelessness. The report also says there is much worse to come, particularly for young people and families with children.

Leslie Morphy, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: "The research is clear; young people are bearing a disproportionate burden of the cuts, yet the Coalition seems set to increase the pressure by abolishing housing benefit for under-25s. If we carry on, rising rates of homelessness will accelerate – a disaster for those affected and bad for us all."

So far, The Homelessness Monitor: England, has been released, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow.

Professor Steve Wilcox, from York's Centre for Housing Policy (CHP), played a key role in the research. He said: "This report shows the growing impact of the continuing economic downturn and austerity measures on low income households in the housing market. The greatest concerns are about the impact of welfare reforms on both younger people, and larger families."

The research was led by Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick from Heriot-Watt University, a former Director of CHP. She said: "When we put all the evidence together for the Homelessness Monitor the conclusion was clear: the strain of the , combined with radical welfare cuts and growing housing market pressures, means increasing numbers of people are going to become homeless. As the buffers that have traditionally saved people from homelessness are dismantled we expect to see this increase accelerate – particularly with families and younger people who are being hardest hit."

Key findings of the research:

In response to today's figures and the concerns raised in the research, Crisis is calling on the Government to:

More information: www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/p… ExecutiveSummary.pdf

Provided by University of York

"Research shows young people to bear brunt of rising homelessness." December 6th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-12-young-people-brunt-homelessness.html