More people face homelessness next winter
3 Mar 2021 03:27 PM
In today’s Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Universal Credit Uplift would be extended by 6 months. In the detailed document he also announced some improvements for young people who have been homeless for more than 3 months.
While we welcome the extension of the Universal Credit uplift and the bringing forwards of the standard accommodation rate exemption, Homeless Link and its 800 members across the country still fear that thousands of people could still face homelessness next winter.
Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, comments:
“Overall this is deeply disappointing and will leave thousands of people facing an uncertain future and potential homelessness before Christmas. Our members tell us that taking over £1,000 away from the 6.2 million families who already rely on Universal Credit or working tax credit will be a false economy as it takes away the lifeline just as conditions get worse and unemployment is expected to rise. A far better solution would be to extend the uplift for a year to see people through the crisis.
“The previous freezing of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) undermines the Universal Credit uplift. It means that in real terms some of the poorest people in the country are facing a benefit cut, that could result in losing their homes. In the autumn, 48% of the CEOs of our member organisations cited a lack of available accommodation at LHA rates to already being a main barrier to moving people on from emergency accommodation. Our members tell us that whilst rentals are rising, if the LHA does not link to the 30th percentile or above then people will be having to choose between eating or paying their rent.
“Homeless Link were pleased to see the bringing forwards of the shared accommodation rate exemption for those under 25 who have spent more than 3 months in homeless accommodation. This is something that we have written to the Chancellor about previously, and will help younger people break the cycle of homelessness.”
Budget 2021: What you need to know