Youth homelessness update for September 2015

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 - 9:31am

The latest on upcoming changes to welfare support for 18-21 year olds.

The Youth Obligation and automatic entitlement

We’ve had confirmation from the Department for Work and Pensions that the introduction of the Youth Obligation, with its tougher conditionality, and the removal of “automatic entitlement” to housing support for 18-21 year olds will happen in April 2017. Both will only apply to young people making new Universal Credit claims.

The Youth Obligation will only cover the types of claimants who would currently be claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, so it will not include people who are sick or disabled. The feedback from Government has been that the intention of the new tougher conditionality is to provide greater levels of support to those who need it to help them find work.

Other considerations

It is worth remembering that most 18-21 year olds claim Jobseeker’s Allowance for less than six months. This means the obligation to undertake some form of training, apprenticeship or work placement will only apply to a minority of claimants. However, because people experiencing homelessness are among the groups who most struggle to find paid work, they will be affected disproportionately. The Department for Work and Pensions are keen to learn from any employment support programmes that successfully engage with young people and groups that are most distant from the labour market.

We have not had confirmation of the timetable for the regulations on bringing these changes into law. We expect them to be in place by April 2016, giving everyone a year to prepare for their actual introduction.

Meanwhile, the Party Conference season is upon us, so we will keep you updated on any further developments.

Youth homelessness research for 2015

Finally, we are undertaking this year’s annual youth homelessness research. If you support young people, please help us by completing the survey via the links below.