Young People, Housing, and Social Policy

Young People, Housing, and Social Policy

Young People, Housing, and Social Policy

Young People, Housing, and Social Policy

Synopsis

Recent years have witnessed increasing interest in policy issues relating to young people, yet have seen scant attention paid to the issue of their housing needs. Focusing on housing and social policy issues in contemporary Britain, this collection examines a range of government policy initiatives and offers a bold critique of policy assumptions about "appropriate" housing for young people.

Excerpt

Victor Adebowale , Centrepoint

When reading this book I am reminded of Charles Dickens’ opening line in A Tale of Two Cities: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. the chapters in this book describe in some detail the gaps, the prejudice and the adult world’s sheer ignorance of what it is like to be young in today’s society. It is largely this ignorance that leads to the sight of young people on the streets - not just in our major cities but also in towns and rural areas. in some ways, now is the worst time to be young. the pressure to be something, to make choices about your life, find housing and to become a citizen has never been greater. the pressure to succeed in an increasingly competitive society leaves those with what we call a ‘disadvantage’ way behind. Nearly a third of young people approaching Centrepoint for help have been ‘looked after’ in the care system. These young people continue to show up disproportionately in all the other misery statistics pertaining to crime, mental health, teenage pregnancy and of course drug misuse. the difficult transition from dependent childhood into independent adulthood is being made by too many young people without guidance, and without the essential bridge between the two that most people take for granted.

The fundamental safety net that should catch young people who end up on the streets is full of holes, and this books explains some of the ways in which our housing system fails young people. the welfare system is also failing to meet need, based as it is on the assumption that young people require less than the rest of us in order to survive. I am faced almost daily with stories of how young people arrive at our emergency shelters with no means of support. Even access to Severe Hardship Payments and Housing Benefit is restricted through demands for proof of identity (passports,

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