Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show that Bristol has one of the highest numbers of homeless young people. It is time for Government to stop ignoring the problem and take some action.
In the year to the end of September, 815 young people aged 18-24 applied for help to Bristol City Council due to being homeless, or at risk. 190 were subsequently declared to be statutorily homeless, requiring local authority assistance.
Across the country, over 45,000 young people presented themselves to councils for support in the past year.
Lib Dem leader Vince Cable said that the figures revealed the hidden homelessness crisis affecting thousands of young people. “It is a national scandal and the situation is being made worse by the government’s heartless decision to strip young people of housing benefit,” he commented.
“The government must reverse cuts to housing benefit for young people, invest more in preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place and build more genuinely affordable homes.”
Graham Donald has chaired the management board of a local homelessness charity and knows the anguish caused when people of any age do not have a proper home. For young people starting on adult life, it is devastating.