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Making the difference for young people moving on from care

restriction has the effect of making accommodation a young person has secured unaffordable when they reach 22 years of age.

NCAS Policy Recommendation

There should be a presumption that care leavers are vulnerable in applying the Local Housing Allowance, and housing benefit should only be paid to the young person if this is requested in writing.

The ‘shared’ room rent restriction should be abolished by central Government.

Statistical collection (PSA 16)

The statistical collection of young people in suitable accommodation at 19 is too limiting. The definition of suitable accommodation is cited in many different places and the guidance indicates that suitable is a subjective determination; this compromises the data collected. NCAS know that local authorities keep in contact with care leavers up until 21 and in some cases until 25 years of age.

NCAS Policy Recommendation

The DCSF adopts guidance regarding the definition of suitable accommodation that includes the accommodation must identify the needs outlined in the young persons pathway plan.

Local authorities should collect data on care leavers in suitable accommodation at 21 and 25 to ensure that care leavers are not contributing to increases rough sleeping, homeless application and other

figures regarding social exclusion.

13

A home not a safety net

www.leavingcare.org

October 2008

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