High rents blamed for homelessness

Homelessness charity Crisis has warned that high rents are one of the factors which put young people at risk of homelessness.

Crisis identifies other issues to be low benefits and a lack of decent housing.

The charity opens its 'Crisis at Christmas' centres today. It is also launching 'Shut Out', a new campaign calling for more to be done to stop young people becoming homeless.

The numbers of young people sleeping rough in London has more than doubled in three years and new research shows 8% of 16 to 24-year-olds report recently being homeless.

“We have a whole generation being shut out,” says Leslie Morphy, Crisis chief executive, “with almost a million young people unemployed, low wages and deep benefit cuts, this age group is at particular risk of homelessness.

“Many cannot even find a room to rent. We must stop young lives being devastated by homelessness by changing the way housing benefit is calculated for young people so they can actually afford a home.”

The Shut Out campaign launches as Crisis opens its doors to about 4,000 homeless and vulnerable people across London, Edinburgh and Newcastle over Christmas. The charity’s centres are run by 9,000 volunteers during the holiday period.

“Crisis at Christmas is bigger than ever this year, which is a sad indictment of the growing homelessness problem across the UK, but it’s also thanks to the huge generosity and compassion of the thousands of individuals, organisations and companies who give time, funds and goods to make Christmas happen for some of society’s most vulnerable people,” said Morphy.