A new report published by the YMCA has found that young people are increasingly finding themselves trapped in supported housing. The report “Delayed Until Further Notice” published today found that many young people currently in supported housing projects are ready to move out of this environment but are unable to do so due to the lack of housing.
The Chief Executive for the YMCA, Denise Hatton said “Supported accommodation is a step in an individual’s journey to independence but those ready to leave are increasingly facing a cliff edge”.
80% of the 300 young people surveyed were worried about finding themselves somewhere to live when they left supported housing and as a result this creating limited opportunities for the ‘new homeless’ that are leaving supported accommodation as there is a lack of homes for them to go to – two thirds felt a lack of available housing was likely or very likely to delay them leaving supported housing and than three quarters said that they unable to afford the deposits required for private housing and this impinged in their chances of moving on.
The report calls for the government to include a nationwide ‘help to rent scheme’ for people in supported housing to independent living, just as it has done in schemes that attract first time house buyers and warns that help for vulnerable individuals should not end abruptly when they move from supported housing to find new independent housing. Those surveyed felt that they would also require extra support in terms of accessing benefits and help with financial management and 47% said they would also feel more comfortable if they had on-going help to tackle the feelings of loneliness or isolation once they’d left the supported housing.
Ms Hatton’s concerns the declining availability of housing, and the new welfare reforms affecting young people and the cuts to services in England are leaving young people’s chances of gaining independent housing limited; ‘Without the offer of greater help to rent, thousands in supported accommodation are going to continue to find their transition to independence delayed until further notice’ she said.