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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2005): Homelessness - UK

Benefit trap and end of 'grey economy' explain lack of jobs for homeless people

S. Brody

Community Care, Sept.22nd-28th 2005, p.18-19

A recent survey by London charity St Mungo's has revealed that less than 5% of homeless people have some form of paid employment, compared to 83% in 1986. Reasons cited include employers' unwillingness to give homeless people a chance, not being able to find work that paid enough to cover rent and bills, and the cost of work clothes and equipment. Moreover, the vast majority of people now in homeless hostels have multiple barriers to work, including drug and alcohol dependency and mental health problems.

Homeless? Here’s a private let

Anon

Roof, Sept./Oct 2005, Private Renter Supplement, p.[2-4]

Faced with a shortage of social housing, Colchester Borough Council has been successfully placing homeless families in private rented accommodation. KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY B. Rashleigh Roof, Sept/Oct. 2005, p.37-41 Discusses, with illustrative case studies, the extent to which homelessness runs in families. The root of the problem seems to be a lack of affordable rented housing, either social or private. There is currently an alarming trend for parents to evict their teenage children so that they can apply as homeless and be re-housed by the council.

Keeping it in the family

B. Rashleigh

Roof, Sept/Oct. 2005, p.37-41

Discusses, with illustrative case studies, the extent to which homelessness runs in families. The root of the problem seems to be a lack of affordable rented housing, either social or private. There is currently an alarming trend for parents to evict their teenage children so that they can apply as homeless and be re-housed by the council.

More priority needed: the impact of legislative change on young homeless people’s access to housing and support

I. Anderson and S. Thomson

London: Shelter, 2005

Research examined the impact of England's Homelessness Act 2002 and Scotland's Homelessness Act 2003 on young people. The English Act introduced categories of priority need for accommodation that included 16- and 17-year-olds and care leavers. The Scottish legislation introduced priority need groups broader than those in England, covering 18- to 20-year-olds at risk of financial or sexual exploitation, misuse of alcohol or drugs and those looked after by the local authority after leaving school. The study found that in England there are significant numbers of homeless young people still not accepted as being in priority need and therefore not provided with temporary accommodation. Scottish local authorities are more likely to award priority need status to all young people, but they are still spending long periods in temporary accommodation, despite their right to permanent housing.

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