Homeless Link responds to changes to Universal Credit regulations for 18-21 year olds

Thursday, 29 March 2018 - 2:39pm

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, the national membership organisation for homelessness services in England comments.

Young woman with attitude

“Homeless Link strongly welcomes the Government’s announcement today that all 18-21-year-olds will be able to access support with their housing costs through Universal Credit.* We have been working committedly with our members to achieve this result, and are certain that it will go some way towards providing the safety net that vulnerable young people greatly need.

“The removal of this benefit as an automatic entitlement from April 2017 was an issue of significant concern, as it put young people at high risk of homelessness. We have spent the past year monitoring its impact and raising these concerns. While we worked with Government to secure exemptions for young people experiencing homelessness before the changes were introduced, we believed that many vulnerable individuals were still at risk of falling through the net. This was particularly concerning in light of our recent Annual Review of homelessness services, showing worryingly high levels of young people accessing these support services.

“With the welcome focus on homelessness prevention in the Homelessness Reduction Act coming into force next week, we are pleased the Government has listened to us and the sector and taken this important step to remove a barrier to accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness.”

* https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-03-29/HCWS611

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Rick Henderson

Rick Henderson

Chief executive

Rick is the CEO of Homeless Link and was appointed to that role in July 2012. He is a member of the government’s National Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and the London Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Task Group. 

Twitter: @rickviews