Centrepoint Research

Centrepoint commissions and conducts research on a range of issues affecting homeless young people including housing, employment, health, education and training, and independent living. 


We research We campaign

Centrepoint uses its research to raise awareness about the challenges young people face and collect evidence to feed into our policy work. Here you can download a selection of our latest research reports, or sign up to be kept up to date with future campaigns and findings.

Housing options for young adults leaving custody

Safe and stable housing provides the foundations for a young person leaving custody to rebuild their life. However, many young custody leavers face severe challenges in accessing accommodation on release. Centrepoint and Nacro have conducted this research to examine the housing options and support in place for young people as they leave the prison system.

Read the report

The homelessness reduction act Will it work for young people?

The Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) came into force in April 2018, putting an important focus on the prevention of homelessness. The new legislation marks a real turning point in the fight to tackle and ultimately prevent homelessness.

Download the report

More than a number The scale of youth homelessness revealed

Our research estimates 86,000 young people asked for help from their local council in 2016-17 because they’re homeless or at risk. But no accurate source of information on the scale of youth homelessness in the UK exists. That’s why we’ve launched the Youth Homelessness Databank for 2016/17 – the biggest central source of data on youth homelessness in the UK.

Download the report


Centrepoint wouldn't be successful without positive relationships between homeless young people and our staff. But how do these relationships empower young people to overcome the challenges they face? Philip Mullen, PhD candidate at Newcastle University, presents the findings from his research.

Download the report

Care leavers From care to where?

Young people leaving care are some of the most vulnerable in society. Our report shows that without support from parents, many of them are struggling to adapt to independent life. Some are even becoming homeless as a result of the challenges they’re facing.

Read more about care leavers

Refugee Report Lives on Hold

Our report on the experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers living in supported accommodation in the UK. We're calling for more collaboration with young refugees and asylum seekers in the way that services for them are designed and delivered.

Download: Lives on Hold

Preventing youth homelessness What works?

We need to prevent youth homelessness happening at all if we are to end it for good. To do this, young people and their families need access to high quality help and support as early as possible. Our research examines which services are proven to prevent youth homelessness and the cost to the state if we fail to do so.

Read about prevention

Unlocking potential tackling youth unemployment

Despite the recent economic recovery, youth unemployment in the UK is still almost three times higher than the rest of the population. Getting into work is especially tough for disadvantaged young people facing extra challenges in their lives. Centrepoint commissioned the Institute for Employment Studies to examine the barriers faced by disadvantaged young people seeking to enter employment and what can be done to help. Read the full report here.

Download: unlocking potential

earn or learn access to jobs and education

Although youth unemployment has fallen over recent years, some of the most disadvantaged young people are still struggling to access jobs and apprenticeships. Centrepoint research reveals that take up of apprenticeships is very low amongst homeless young people and nearly half report that not having the right qualifications or work experience have made it hard to get a job.

Download: earn or learn

Families under pressure

Relationship breakdown is the most common reason why young people become homeless. 59 per cent of the young people who come to Centrepoint had to leave home for this reason. Our research - Families under pressure - examines why some families experience relationship breakdown to such an extent that a young person faces homelessness. The research explores the key causes of relationship breakdown according to homeless young people and the practitioners who support them. We also establish what services are on offer to families, to help them address any problems and to keep families relationships strong.

Download: families under pressure

Out of reach sofa surfing and rough sleeping

Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness, and one which has been rising among young people in the last few years. A new report conducted by Centrepoint has found the number of young people rough sleeping and sofa surfing is still higher than official data suggest. Centrepoint's research has revealed that, while there is existing support, there is a lack of awareness among young people about where to go to access the services available to them and therefore, young people are waiting too long to get the support they need.

Download: out of reach

Known unknowns the true scale of youth homelessness

Centrepoint commissioned research by Cambridge University to produce an up-to-date estimate of the number of young people aged 16 to 24 experiencing homelessness during the course of a year. The findings showed that the number of young people experiencing homelessness or failing to access the housing they need is much higher than official figures suggest.

Download: Known Unknowns

Housing shortfall building new homes

Young people are facing more barriers than ever to accessing housing. They are increasingly disadvantaged in the housing market due to low incomes, youth unemployment and a lack of mortgage finance. This report looks at the requirements for supported and sub-market independent accommodation (social housing and private rented accommodation with housing benefit) for young people aged 16-24. It examines the current situation and projections for the future until 2021.

Download: Housing shortfall

Housing benefit cuts a lifeline, not a lifestyle

Reducing the eligibility of 18 to 21 year olds to claim housing benefit could actually end up costing taxpayers more money than it would save. The report found that exemptions for the most vulnerable claimants, such as care leavers and those fleeing domestic violence, added to the additional costs that would arise if a young person became homeless because they couldn’t return to a family home could actually cost the government more money.

Download: Lifeline not lifestyle

Toxic Mix health needs of homeless young people

A study, carried out by Centrepoint, explores the health concerns of homeless young people supported by our services. The resulting report, Toxic Mix, shares Centrepoint’s Health team’s approach and includes a series of recommendations aimed at preventing poor health and improving health care for homeless young people.

Download: Toxic Mix

Our Impact Saving The Taxpayer Money

Independent analysis has shown that every pound spent on Centrepoint services reaps an estimated saving of £2.40 to the public purse. By preventing offending, improving young people’s mental and physical health, and supporting them to access work, Centrepoint saves the public purse an estimated average of £20,000 per young person.

Download: cost benefit analysis