Tens of thousands of young people affected by homelessness, data shows _ Society _ The Guardian housing benefit calculator 2016

Councils across england, scotland and wales have released statistics that show tens of thousands of young people have come forward to say they are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless over the past year.

Figures from 234 councils obtained through a freedom of information request have lifted the lid on a hidden epidemic, with almost 45,000 18- to 24-year-olds approaching their local authority over the past year.

But there are also fears about the move to block single 18- to 21-year-olds from receiving any help with housing costs, unless they can prove they are particularly vulnerable, within universal credit that is rolling out across the country.

“the underlying presumption that 18- to 21-year-olds are not entitled to support with housing costs places them in an impossible situation whereby they are unlikely to receive an offer of accommodation, as landlords who have several tenancy options presume their rent is at risk,” she said.Housing benefit calculator 2016

But without an offer, people cannot apply for housing support nor the necessary exemption if they are aged between 18 and 21, she said, warning that this placed more young people at risk of rough sleeping and unsafe housing options.

The figures show that many more young people are turning up at their local council to warn of a risk of homelessness than are actually being accepted as in need of urgent support. Of the 45,000 presenting as at risk of losing their home in the year up to september 2017, only 10,000 were classified as statutory homeless.

Manchester city council said homelessness was a national problem “being stoked by welfare changes and the ongoing impact of austerity” and said young people were far from immune. It said the government had dismantled safety nets that used to exist, but insisted it was working hard to tackle the issue, including through prevention.Housing benefit calculator 2016

In cornwall, a spokeswoman stressed that young people with partners and children did qualify for more support, but said the council worked hard to prevent homelessness among single people as well. One drive is to offer “mediation and whole family support” to help secure a place to live with loved ones, she said.

A spokesman for the local government association said: “it is a tragedy when anyone becomes homeless.” he said councils worked hard to prevent people losing their homes, or find new accommodation, and that a chronic shortage of affordable housing was making it very difficult to find emergency solutions.

Charities expressed deep concern about the plight of young people, with paul noblet of centrepoint saying the most alarming thing about the figures was that they were likely to be a serious underestimate given that not all councils responded.Housing benefit calculator 2016 moreover, many young people would not know to turn to the council for help, he said.

Polly neate, the chief executive of shelter, said losing a home was a terrifying prospect .“at the very point when [young people] should be full of hope and looking forward to starting out in life, many are instead threatened with homelessness,” she said.

“government is providing over £1bn up to 2020 to reduce all forms of homelessness and we are investing in a fair chance programme to support 18- to 25-year-olds with specific needs to help them find suitable accommodation and support their needs.”

Councils across england, scotland and wales have released statistics that show tens of thousands of young people have come forward to say they are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless over the past year.

Figures from 234 councils obtained through a freedom of information request have lifted the lid on a hidden epidemic, with almost 45,000 18- to 24-year-olds approaching their local authority over the past year.Housing benefit calculator 2016

But there are also fears about the move to block single 18- to 21-year-olds from receiving any help with housing costs, unless they can prove they are particularly vulnerable, within universal credit that is rolling out across the country.

“the underlying presumption that 18- to 21-year-olds are not entitled to support with housing costs places them in an impossible situation whereby they are unlikely to receive an offer of accommodation, as landlords who have several tenancy options presume their rent is at risk,” she said.

But without an offer, people cannot apply for housing support nor the necessary exemption if they are aged between 18 and 21, she said, warning that this placed more young people at risk of rough sleeping and unsafe housing options.

The figures show that many more young people are turning up at their local council to warn of a risk of homelessness than are actually being accepted as in need of urgent support.Housing benefit calculator 2016 of the 45,000 presenting as at risk of losing their home in the year up to september 2017, only 10,000 were classified as statutory homeless.

Manchester city council said homelessness was a national problem “being stoked by welfare changes and the ongoing impact of austerity” and said young people were far from immune. It said the government had dismantled safety nets that used to exist, but insisted it was working hard to tackle the issue, including through prevention.

In cornwall, a spokeswoman stressed that young people with partners and children did qualify for more support, but said the council worked hard to prevent homelessness among single people as well. One drive is to offer “mediation and whole family support” to help secure a place to live with loved ones, she said.

A spokesman for the local government association said: “it is a tragedy when anyone becomes homeless.” he said councils worked hard to prevent people losing their homes, or find new accommodation, and that a chronic shortage of affordable housing was making it very difficult to find emergency solutions.Housing benefit calculator 2016

Charities expressed deep concern about the plight of young people, with paul noblet of centrepoint saying the most alarming thing about the figures was that they were likely to be a serious underestimate given that not all councils responded. Moreover, many young people would not know to turn to the council for help, he said.

Polly neate, the chief executive of shelter, said losing a home was a terrifying prospect .“at the very point when [young people] should be full of hope and looking forward to starting out in life, many are instead threatened with homelessness,” she said.

“government is providing over £1bn up to 2020 to reduce all forms of homelessness and we are investing in a fair chance programme to support 18- to 25-year-olds with specific needs to help them find suitable accommodation and support their needs.”