Birth-for-benefits myth

August 21, 1998

Researchers at the Policy Studies Institute have found no evidence to support the myth that teenagers become pregnant to get council housing or social security benefits. Isobel Allen, Shirley Bourke Dowling and Heather Rolfe interviewed 84 teenage mothers, 24 fathers and 41 grandparents in Hackney, Leeds and Solihull. Although few of the young women knew about housing policy before becoming pregnant, a substantial number went to live in council housing after giving birth: from 5 per cent before pregnancy to 33 per cent a year later.

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