Young person in blue hoodie with arms crossed

A vote to end youth homelessness - Centrepoint manifesto for the next General Election

The next general election represents a chance for the next Government to support young people to overcome the challenges created by homelessness and achieve their full potential. 

If the next Government does not act, we are not only going to keep losing billions of pounds every year, but we will continue to waste the huge potential of the young people who represent the future of our society. It is now time to act, it is time to end youth homelessness.


Every year tens of thousands of young people face homelessness in the UK. In our 2022/2023 Youth Homelessness Databank, we estimated that almost 136,000 young people approached their council seeking support because they were homeless or at risk of homelessness.

This was the sixth year in a row that we measured an increase in the number of young people facing homelessness.

Additionally, Centrepoint has estimated that youth homelessness costs society £8.5 billion every year. This figure includes Government expenditure for services to support homeless young people, such as healthcare and benefits, which are estimated to cost the taxpayers £2.5 billion every year. However, this number is dwarfed by the £6 billion per annum economic loss for our society linked to unemployment and economic inactivity caused by youth homelessness.

These figures suggest that youth homelessness is both a growing and costly problem in British society. Yet, in the past five years, there has not been a commensurate Government response aimed at tackling the many issues that perpetuate the homelessness experienced by young people. 

Across the UK, we have seen how massive increases in private rents and a growing lack of social housing supply have pushed young people into housing instability and homelessness. We have also witnessed the challenges faced by young people in accessing employment, with increasing rates of economic inactivity and thousands of young people often relying on benefits to make ends meet. Finally, we have developed evidence of the increasing inaccessibility of public services and Local Authority homelessness support, leaving many young people facing homelessness to fend for themselves. 

In previous research, we have evidenced the youth homelessness crisis and the daily challenges faced by thousands of young people in the UK. With this Manifesto, however, we propose a series of evidenced based approaches that address these challenges.

Key recommendations

These asks are aimed at the next Government of the United Kingdom, and recommend:

  1. LOCAL GOVERNMENT must be better equipped to deal with youth homelessness
    The next Government must commit to:
    A. Provide at least £330 million to Local Authorities to assess and support young people facing homelessness.
    B. Work with young people and the youth homelessness sector to add a youthspecific chapter to the Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities.
    C. Increase investment in youth specific supported accommodation.
  2. Address the HOUSING CRISIS for young people
    The next Government must commit to:
    A. Build at least 90,000 social homes a year over the next Parliament, including 40,000 one-bedroom social homes.
    B. Permanently fix the LHA rate to the 30th percentile, uprating the rates in line with rents at least annually.
    C. Target capital funding grants at enabling organisations to buy/rent land which can be developed into Stepping Stone Accommodation.
  3. Improve access to EMPLOYMENT for young people in supported accommodation
    The next Government must commit to:
    A. Reduce the Housing Benefit taper rate from 65% to 55% to bring it in line with Universal Credit.
    B. Increase the Housing Benefit applicable amount to £531.11 a month.