Young and homeless research

Young and homeless reports explore the reasons young people become homelessness, the support available to them, and areas where improvements should be made.

Latest findings 

Based on  responses from 169 frontline homelessness charities and local authority housing departments, the 2013 report provides a picture of the experiences of young homeless people in England.


  • More than half of young people become homeless because of a relationship breakdown, mainly with their parents.
  • Homeless young people face a range of complex problems – more than 40% are not in education, employment or training for example.  
  • Around a quarter of local  authorities and two-thirds of homelessness agencies reported that young people’s needs were more complex than last year.
  • 68% of homelessness organisations said there was not enough youth-specific emergency accommodation, while 43% of local authorities reported placing young people in unsuitable B&B accommodation.
  • 6 in 10 homelessness organisations were unable to support a young person due to limited capacity last year.
  • The extension of the shared accommodation rate to include under-35s has significantly increased competition in the already crowded private rental market.
  • Proposals to limit housing benefit for under-25s will reduce support options even further.


We have seen a number of improvements since our report in 2012:

  • 74% of surveyed local authorities now provide mediation services, proven to be effective in resolving family conflicts.
  • two thirds reported that joint  working was effective or very effective, compared to around half in Young and Homeless 2012.
  • 95% now have a joint protocol between their housing and children’s services departments to ensure homelessness 16 and 17 year olds receive the care they are owed under the children’s act 1989
  • more local authorities have introduced a positive pathways model, which focusses on homelessness prevention and tailored assistance around accommodation and support.

More needs to be done

The report calls for a number of improvements, including more prevention services, such as mediation, to reduce incidents of family breakdown.

Young and homeless 2013

Our third annual report on youth homelessness published in January 2014 found young homeless people are still facing many challenges but that progress is being made.


No Excuses - preventing homelessness for the next generation 2013

Freedom of Information responses from 216 councils suggests that all too many homeless teenagers are not having their needs properly assessed and are being housed in unsuitable accommodation. 


Young and homeless 2012

Our second report on youth homelessness was published in December 2012. With evidence from 117 homelessness charities and 101 local authorities, we found that youth homelessness has risen. Changes to the welfare system, such as extension of the shared accommodation rate are already having a negative impact on young people's ability to access housing.


Young and homeless 2011

Our first report on youth homelessness was published in December 2011. Drawing on evidence provided by 79 homelessness charities and 108 local authorities, we highlighted an increase in young people requiring help and outlined the response from local authorities and the homelessness sector. 


Talk To Us

Francesca Albanese

Research Manager

Francesca is our Research Manager and has responsibility for Homeless Link’s research programme.

Telephone: 020 7840 4422

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