Universal Credit should provide a safety net for everyone. Yet the UC system unfairly assumes that all under-25s can rely on family for financial support. This is not the case for many young people living independently who cannot live safely at home, particularly those who have been in care or experienced homelessness.
Under current welfare rules, thousands of vulnerable young people are at risk of homelessness, as they cannot afford to cover the cost of renting in the private rental sector. The amount of financial support someone in receipt of benefits can claim for their rent is calculated according to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA). The LHA is based on average rents in an area, and includes different rates depending on the size of the property that the claimant is thought to need. Most people under the age of 35 are only eligible for the lowest rate of LHA, the Shared Accommodation Rate. This is based on the cost of renting a room in a shared house.
Centrepoint is calling on London Mayoral candidates to commit to taking urgent action on youth homelessness.
The research reveals how young people across the country are faced with shocking conditions and are forced to make impossible choices. It shows the impact of not having a stable place to call home on a young person’s mental and physical health, on their ability to succeed in education and employment, and on their relationships with family and friends. It shows the risks and physical dangers that young people going through homelessness face every day and every night without safe accommodation - and why it is so important that we campaign for change
This research explores the experiences of some of the most vulnerable young people. The causes of youth homelessness are many and complex, though the main driver is family breakdown. The young people in this research described their own, often complex, experiences such as close family bereavements or family breakdown that resulted in them having to leave home. Some also described the impact of mental health problems, substance misuse issues, and criminal activity. Homelessness resulted in disruption to employment or education while they sought a stable housing situation and support for personal issues.
For the past five decades Centrepoint has supported homeless young people to turn their lives around. In 2019, no young person should find themselves homeless yet we are supporting more young people than ever through our accommodation services and national Helpline.
This research is the first longitudinal evaluation of the Youth Obligation to be published. It reflects the experiences of disadvantaged young people; those with the most complex needs who are furthest from the job market. The Youth Obligation is not working effectively for this group.
Young people experiencing homelessness, who are among society’s most vulnerable and isolated groups, face significant risks from criminal exploitation and serious youth violence. There is overlap between many of the factors understood to drive both youth violence and youth homelessness, such as poverty and exclusion, family breakdown, experiences leaving care and other state institutions, and difficulties with mental health and trauma. Homelessness can also increase young people’s exposure to violence and exploitation, whether in hostels, sofa surfing and in insecure accommodation, or sleeping rough.
This reports brings together the voices of members of staff and young people to evaluate what a positive professional looks like for young people. The report offers some ideas for others to take forward in order to build and maintain positive professional relationships with young people, in order to ensure young people engage with and get the best support possible
This report centres on findings from Centrepoint’s analysis of data collected for the 2017/18 Youth Homelessness Databank. It updates findings from previous years, including Centrepoint’s estimate of the national scale of youth homelessness. Where possible, comparisons are made between 2016/17 and 2017/18 findings to understand youth homelessness over the past two years. The research also focuses mainly on findings in England; however data from the devolved nations is included where possible.
With the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act, local housing authorities face more responsibility to support those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness than ever before. The need for additional support is high. Centrepoint estimates that in 2016/17, 66,500 young people approached their local authority for help because they were homeless or at risk of homelessness in England alone.Only 33 per cent of these young people were recorded as receiving a documented assessment.
A study which aims to provide a snapshot of the barriers that young people face when they are seeking safe and stable housing on release from custody. Considering these barriers alongside the wider policy context, we wanted to provide a renewed focus on this critical challenge and explore how we could collectively work together to provide practical solutions.