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For transparency's sake I work as a homelessness prevention worker for 16-19 year olds in an organisation helping and housing young people up to 25, so I'm not entirely uninvolved.
It is already difficult for young people to access housing either through services, social landlords, or private renting (and yes I suppose some may buy houses!). People having to claim benefits for an income face further challenges (and UC looks to make this tougher anyway) but it has at least been an option to find somewhere cheapcheapcheap to rent if there is such a place locally. This move may leave many people with only two options - family home or homelessness. Fine as an incentive to stay at home for some, but also that is not an option for many people and this risks shoving LOADS of people into really shitty situations. And as flagged below this is a false economy anyway as there are knock on costs socially to young people being kicked into the gutter.
It's ideological not a necessary spending saving.
Here's their blurb:
Reverse restrictions on housing element of Universal Credit for 18-21 yr olds
On 3rd March the government introduced new legislation which restricts 18-21 year olds from claiming the housing element of Universal Credit (Housing Benefit). This will leave thousands of young people who do not have the support of their families at serious risk of homelessness.
Research shows that 9,000 young people could be put at risk of homelessness, and will face the choice of living on the streets or living in unsafe and unsuitable accommodation.
Research by Herriot Watt University shows that the legislation will save the Government just £3.3 million, and that even these savings will be eroded if just 140 young people were made homeless as a result of the policy.