Laura Sharman 14 May 2019

Housing policy putting young women at risk, study warns

Housing policy putting young women at risk, study warns image

Young women are being forced into unsafe housing due to the government’s housing benefit policy, a new study has concluded.

Researchers at the University of Southampton, in conjunction Young Women’s Trust, warned the policy had numerous unintended and ‘devastating’ consequences on women under-35.

This includes being forced to live in housing that puts young women in danger of violence, abuse and discrimination, and keeping some apart from their children. It also found young claimants with anxiety and depression reported a downward spiral while living with strangers.

Report researcher Dr Eleanor Wilkinson said: ‘These changes to housing welfare were brought about to make economic savings, yet at what social cost? Our research has highlighted that these welfare cuts have hit some of the most vulnerable young people in society.

‘Many of the young women interviewed expressed frustration at trying to negotiate their way through a bureaucratic welfare system that did not account for their complex housing needs.

‘We urge the Government to conduct further research into the everyday impacts of these housing welfare reforms, in order to ensure that everyone has a safe and secure place to call home.’

Young Women’s Trust chief executive, Dr Carole Easton, added: ‘No matter their age, no one should be made to feel unsafe, be treated with less dignity or separated - purely on the basis of a legislative loophole – from their children.

’The Government should address these unintended consequences, which are having a devastating effect, and consider scrapping the ‘shared accommodation rate’ of housing benefit that sees under-35s receiving £41 less a week towards their rent and forces them to live with strangers.’

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Commercial Customer Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 to £43,857
Are you someone who is innovative and has the drive to increase revenue for the Council whilst ensuring excellent service provision to our customers? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Social Care Lead Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£35,745 - £40,876 pro rata per annum
A vacancy has become available for a part time Social Care Lead Officer, to cover in... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Communications & Corporate Affairs Manager

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£47,845 - £50,900 per annum
To apply for this role please upload your most recent CV that sets out your relevant experience against the job description. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Career Grade Planning Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27978 - £37722 per annum + n/a
Career Grade Planning Officer - West Area and East Area Team The Royal Borough of Greenwich continues to faces an unprecedented growth agenda in terms England, London
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highway Engineer - Reactive Maintenance

Bracknell Forest Borough Council
£35,354 - £40,506 incl. LWA, plus £963 car allowance
We make a difference to the environment we live in. Come and help us manage our highway infrastructure. Bracknell, Berkshire
Recuriter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue