Depaul UK CEO responds to Chancellor's speech
Commenting on the Chancellor's speech at the Conservative conference trailing proposed policy on housing benefit, Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of Depaul UK, the largest youth homelessness charity in the country said:
"It is alarming to hear rhetoric, albeit in the party political environment, about cutting housing benefit for under twenty-fives.
Debates about policy which impact on society's most vulnerable should be undertaken with the evidence and in the proper setting of Government. Young people deserve the best of our political system and that includes robust conversations about how to protect them when they face the inherent risks of homelessness.
Whilst some young people have many options in their lives, Depaul UK works day and night with those who are at risk of harm as a result of being made homeless. Family breakdown is the largest cause of youth homelessness and, through no fault of their own, young people are left desperately searching for safe places to stay whilst in a crisis. Last year it was the reason that two thirds of young people who used our accredited Nightstop emergency housing schemes needed to do so.
The arguments for ensuring that young people are not homeless are solid, it would be good if the trailing of potentially damaging ideas were given the same robust testing."