Homes & Hopes: Homelessness through the eyes of young people

homes and hopes black
Young people in the North East who took part in producing the YHNE Youth Housing Charter (2013) told us they want us to safeguard Housing Benefit (HB) for all young people aged 16 – 25 years old.

For many young people remaining at home or returning home is not an option and the abolition of automatic entitlement to HB for young people aged 18 to 21 announced in the summer budget, will increase homelessness.

Research by Cambridge University, commissioned by Centrepoint has found that exempting young people from HB is not in fact cost effective.

infographic_cut_outThe Project:

This is an awareness raising campaign focusing on the impact that the Government’s proposed removal of automatic entitlement to HB for young people aged 18 – 21 years old, will have on homeless young people. Working in partnership, Crisis Skylight and YNHE will gather evidence through case-studies and art, of the importance of HB for young people affected by homelessness and the likely consequences if housing benefit no longer available.

Through consultation with young people we know that an arts based project would be the most accessible medium for homeless young people to engage with, both in terms of expressing their views and accessing the findings of the project. The project will directly benefit the young people involved in the production and delivery of the artwork through accredited learning they will gain and by empowering them to take ownership of their futures.

Using art, young people will be encouraged to express and explore how the proposed cuts may affect them. This will enable us to humanise a statistic-based issue and, by presenting the artwork to MPs through our local connections we can draw national attention to promote our policy work and ensure that young people’s views are represented in Government. We aim to implore the government to consider the human behind the cuts and the life-detrimental impact this decision would have amongst the most disadvantaged young people. The project aims to involve, empower and raise the self-esteem of young people.

We aim to replicate the successful exhibition model of YHNE’s recent ‘Home and a Job’ arts project which received an audience of over 50,000 people and is still exhibited two years later.

Our aim is:

To highlight the experiences, fears and aspirations of young people affected by homelessness in securing housing and having a home; and to provide evidence through case-studies and art by young people of the importance of retaining HB 18-21 year olds.


  1. To engage young people from across the region to gather their experiences of when they have had to apply for housing benefit, the circumstances and the result.
  2. To consider the consequences if young people do not have recourse to housing benefit in the future.
  3. In addition we want to explore young people’s perception of ‘home’ and what it means to them, considering past, present and future.


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