George Osborne’s plan to axe housing benefit for 18-21 years old could have a “catastrophic” impact on young people in Scotland, a charity has warned.
Shelter Scotland fears that 1,000 vulnerable young Scots could be left homeless, as a result of devastating welfare cuts announced by the Chancellor in the budget.
Around 36,000 people in Scotland are currently registered as homeless and 150,000 people are on housing waiting lists. There are also 10,500 people living in temporary accommodation, including 4,000 children.
Graeme Brown, director of the homelessness charity, said: “Young people are particularly vulnerable to homelessness. They may have to leave home due to abuse or neglect, or have been in care. Every person has a different story.
“If they become homeless, they’re more likely to have a repeat episode of homelessness later in life.”
The Daily Record reports that Mr Brown plans to ask the Scottish Government to help mitigate the worst effects of welfare reforms. Adding, they should intervene to help vulnerable young people at risk of being pushed onto the streets.
Young Scots who become affected by housing benefit cuts will struggle to afford housing in the private rented sector, Mr Brown said.
“The impact is going to be catastrophic”, he said.
“There are nearly 2,900 young people on housing benefit. If just one in three were put in that difficulty then it’s absolutely possible 1000 will become homeless.”
“There’s been decades of under-investment in housing and we’re paying the price”.
Shelter has urged the Scottish Government to build 10,000 new social housing properties a year.
Mr Brown also expressed fears over the introduction of Universal Credit and UK government’s plan to lower the benefits cap to £20,000 outside of London.