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.
Young and homeless research
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.
Talk To Us
Francesca is our Research Manager and has responsibility for Homeless Link’s research programme.
020 7840 4422