We support calls for a clearer government strategy to end youth homelessness


We support calls for a government strategy to end youth homelessness

We have joined a coalition of over 80 charities calling for immediate government action to tackle surging youth homelessness.

Research indicates that last year 129,000 16 to 25-year-olds* across the UK approached their local councils for homelessness support. This is approximately 353 new young people every day. One every four minutes.

It is shocking and unacceptable that so many young people are facing the prospect of homelessness. These figures show the scale of the issue, even before we consider that they may miss people experiencing ‘hidden homelessness’ who have not approached their councils for support.

That’s why we are joining the call for a coordinated, cross-departmental government strategy to help people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of becoming so. A meaningful strategy should focus on three key areas:

  • Prevention: supporting young people so that they do not reach the point of becoming homeless in the first place. This should include housing-related education in schools, better support for at-risk families, and more council funding for youth programmes.
  • Housing: increasing the availability of affordable housing and temporary accommodation options, as well as improved regulation to support young, high-risk groups.
  • Finance: ensuring fairer pay, an end to age-related benefits discrimination, and more financial support for young people so that they can build successful, independent lives.

“The current picture of youth homelessness is extremely concerning. What’s more, we know that a disproportionately high number of people affected are in London” said our CEO Jeremy Gray.

“We work with hundreds of people aged 16-25 every year, and see the pressures that they are facing. Rising living costs, inadequate support to care leavers, a lack of affordable housing – these are just some of the challenges that make homelessness a very real threat.

We offer tailored support to help people staying with us to build the lives they want. However, larger systemic changes are needed in order to reduce the number of people who become homeless in the first place. The strategy being proposed provides a roadmap for that. If acted upon it could help reduce homelessness, and set more young people up for the futures that they deserve.”

Along with our partners in the homelessness sector, we are calling on the government to adopt a youth homelessness strategy that incorporates the priorities outlined above. We are also calling on all political parties to include a strategy for youth homelessness in their manifesto commitments.

More detail on the strategy to end youth homelessness can be found here.

* Centrepoint Databank – Estimates for 2021-22

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