Housing Choices and Issues for Young People in the UK - Findings

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Young people are experiencing increased risk and uncertainty as they move into independent housing. This review considers their options and highlights some of the most pressing housing-related issues facing young people in the UK today. Young people’s routes to independent housing are part of a bigger picture in which they are remaining longer in education and moving later into employment, independent housing and a stable relationship with a partner. • These routes are subject to increased risk and uncertainty for all young people, but some experience greater levels of risk than others, depending on their social class background. • Differing levels of access to practical and financial help, as well as sources of support and guidance, are key factors in understanding different housing outcomes. Access to this kind of support is affected by class background, and higher education appears to be increasing rather than reducing housing inequalities amongst younger generations. • Housing choices are affected by changing expectations amongst young people (compared to their parents) of relationships and domestic set-ups. • Young people moving out of care, people with disabilities, those from rural areas, and gay and lesbian young people often face particular challenges in moving to independent housing. • Government policies relating to the housing needs of under-18-year-olds and Housing Benefit claimants impact significantly on the housing choices of some of the most vulnerable groups of young people. • There has been a marked trend amongst young people away from owner-occupation and towards the private rented sector.


Sue Heath

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