Housing benefit cuts will hit disabled youth hardest

Submitted by Matthew on 3 June, 2011 - 3:18

Government plans to cut housing benefit will have a particularly severe effect on young disabled people according to a homeless charity.

Crisis says the changes could leave up to 11,000 young disabled people homeless.

From next January single people aged 25-34 will only be able to claim housing benefit for a room in a shared house rather than a one-bedroom flat, an average cut of £41 a week.

According to figures produced by the Department for Work and Pensions, the average cut will rise to £45 a week across the South East, £87 a week across London, £108 a week in Westminster, £109 a week in Islington, £111 a week in Brent and £116 a week in Camden. The DWP also estimates that the changes will cut £200m a year from the welfare budget.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: "This disturbing cut will force people suffering serious physical disabilities or mental illness to share with strangers, even if it damages their health."

"Government claims that discretionary funding will be able to support those who need it just don't add up."

"We are deeply concerned that some of the disabled people affected by this will end up homeless, and in the worst cases rough-sleeping."

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