To end youth homelessness, we need to know how many people experience homelessness and what happens to them when they seek help. Our Youth Homelessness Databank brings together all the information available to build the clearest picture possible, and estimates that 129,000 young people in the United Kingdom approached their council for help during the financial year 2021/22.
Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank monitors the number of young people presenting to their local authority as homeless or at risk of homelessness across the United Kingdom. While in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales this data is collected at central level and sourced from the devolved governments, in England the data is collected through Freedom of Information requests to individual local authorities.
Centrepoint estimates that 129,000 young people in the United Kingdom approached their council for help as they were homeless or at risk during the financial year 2021/22. This means that the number of young people who asked for help from their local council because they were homeless or at immediate risk of homelessness has increased for the sixth year in a row. Looking at the main reason for the homelessness of young people, family breakdown remained the main cause with 46 per cent of young people’s homelessness caused by their family no longer being willing or able to accommodate them.
Key findings and recommendations:
- 129,000 16-24 year olds were homeless or at risk of homelessness in the UK.
- 68% of 16-24 year olds at risk of homelessness were offered support by the authority in England.
- 62% of cases of homelessness were not successfully prevented or dealt with in England.
- Family no longer willing or able to accommodate young people was the main reason for loss or threat of loss of the last settled home for young people aged 16-24.
- Create a new cross-departmental strategy to end youth homelessness. This should ensure that there is a youth specific emergency housing offer in every local authority so that young people facing homelessness can access age-appropriate accommodation up to the age of 25.
- The Government should require local authorities to report the number of homelessness presentations to give a fuller picture of levels of demand among young people (and older groups).
- Make publicly available all HCLIC data broken by age to enable the government and those working in the homelessness sector to better understand how effectively the HRA is supporting young people.
- To ensure that all young people who are facing homelessness get the support they need from local authorities, the Homelessness Code of Guidance (HCG) should be amended to clarify the obligations of local authorities at the presentation, initial interview, and assessment stage to ensure that all councils are aware of what is and is not acceptable practice.