The Problem

Our youth are tomorrow’s doctors, tomorrow’s teachers, tomorrow’s scientists, tomorrow’s leaders. But too many are homeless. Too many are trapped in this situation  due to a number of factors far beyond their control. 

122,000 young people in the UK approached their local council for help in 20-21, the fifth year in a row this figure has increased. 

Young people approaching the council for help [Centrepoint 2022]

1086 slept rough in London in the last recorded statistics for a single year, the fourth year in the row this figure has increased.

Young people slept rough in 2020-2021

Report after Report shows that young homeless people under 25 find it near to impossible to get off the street into their own accommodation. 

Study after study highlights the plight of youth homelessness as one of the biggest barriers to overcome in the sector.  

Why this happens

There are a mix of complex reasons, but one of the core reasons is due to ‘Local Housing Allowance’ rules, which is the amount of money a young person can claim when unemployed or on a low wage, which most people who are homeless are undoubtedly likely to be. Their entitlement is to the Shared Accommodation Rate, which in London, for example, is on average £121.26 p/w [£525.46 p/m].

But this rate does not come anywhere close to a room in a shared house in the city, which is on average £710.25 p/m. 

Therefore, there is a shortfall of around £184.79 per month, or £42.64. 

This is forecast to get worse as the pandemic eases. With students returning, offices reopening and the increased ease of global travel, rental demand has firmly bounced back, with a +10.3% annual change in rents in the capital. 

Put on top of that the deposit/rent in advance, which can reach into the thousands, coupled with the continual refusal to let out properties to those on benefits, and it becomes apparent how difficult it is for young homeless people to get themselves out of this hole.