Crisis Launches No Going Home campaign.

No Going Home campaign logo

No Going Home campaign logo

The homelessness charity Crisis launched its ‘No Going Home’ campaign this week, targeting government plans to scrap housing benefits for the under 25s. There are currently 385,000 people under 25 claiming housing benefit across the UK. Many of these people work, or are looking for work, others are sick or disabled, and more than half are parents bringing up children – all of them depend on housing benefit to keep a roof over their head. 

The Prime Minister has suggested that instead of claiming housing benefit these people should live at home with their parents. This might sound feasible to a multiple home-owner like Cameron and his front bench of Old Etonians, but to the hundreds of thousands of under-25s claiming housing benefit because they can’t return to their parents’ home, these cuts could see them out on the streets.

Squatting in empty buildings has provided, and continues to provide, a valuable safety net against street sleeping for the homeless and precariously housed; however, with the criminalisation of squatting in residential buildings at the beginning of September this year, it is simply no longer a viable option for many. The prospect of immediate eviction by the police, of a fine or of a custodial sentence means that many young people who have been squatting are leaving their homes, and that most of the 930,000 empty homes across the country will stay that way – empty.

Where, then, will these young people go? Some will inevitably swell the unknown numbers of “hidden homeless” – those moving from couch to couch at friends’ or with family. Others may end up returning to the households from which they came – whether they’re welcome or not, whether they want to or not – in keeping with Cameron’s wishes. Others still will end up on the streets. These cuts endanger lives and must be stopped.

Squatters Action for Secure Homes fully supports Crisis’ No Going Home campaign and urges you to get informed and take action here.