Half of young people facing homelessness not supported

New research had found that more than half of young people facing homelessness who approached their local council for help last year received no meaningful support.

The Centrepoint findings showcased how more than 100,000 young people in the UK, aged between 16-24, turned to their local authority for assistance in 2017-18 because of having either nowhere to live or because they were under threat of homelessness.

With a ‘significant underestimate’ of the scale of youth homelessness currently being discusses, Centrepoint said councils were not properly funded to meet their new duties, potentially putting young people at risk of sleeping rough, violence or abuse.

The 52 per cent of homeless young people who received no help last year should now receive support under the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA), introduced by the government in April,

Centrepoint claims that just 13 per cent of young people who presented to councils as homeless were deemed eligible to be housed, while 35 per cent received alternative support, ranging from mediation aimed at moving them back into the family home, to help with a rent deposit.

The biggest cause of youth homelessness, at 37 per cent, was being thrown out of the family home after a row, followed by being forced to move out of shared accommodation or a friend’s home (15 per cent), and the ending of a tenancy by a private landlord (12 per cent).

Seyi Obakin, Centrepoint’s chief executive, said: “The government has been increasingly vocal on the issue of homelessness but without extra funding for councils to meet their new obligations they are risking setting councils up to fail.”