Prime Minister David Cameron’s threat to cut housing benefit from under 25s has been slammed by Birmingham YMCA.
Charity chief executive Alan Fraser said that, if adopted, the proposal would increase homelessness among young people and place vulnerable people at serious risk and urged a rethink.
He also hit out at the Prime Minister’s depiction of young housing benefit claimants as idle scroungers.
Birmingham YMCA recently opened its Orchard accommodation in Erdington which provides a range of support, training and education as well as a home for 83 young people.
The charity looks after about 220 people a night across its centres in Birmingham and fears that with housing benefit cut it will have to roll back services.
Mr Fraser said: “Recent years have seen housing charities take phenomenal cuts to their budgets. This has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the level of support that organisations such as the YMCA can offer.
“Youth homelessness is at an all-time high in the West Midlands and these proposed cuts will exacerbate the situation dramatically. We are not providing luxury accommodation, or accommodation in the most desirable areas as the Prime Minister suggests – we are simply putting a roof over the head of young people who otherwise would have nowhere to go.’’
“For the relatively small number of young people we house ‘staying at home’ is simply not an option. ”
Earlier this week the Prime Minister suggested stripping housing benefit from the under-25s and forcing them to live with their parents.