Petition Create a national strategy to end youth homelessness
In 2021-22, 129,000 young people experiencing homelessness approached their council for help. Yet no one is talking about this and there is no national plan to end this ahead of the General Election.
This has to change. We have the power to help so many young people, and absolutely should.
The scale of the issue may be unseen but the solutions are not. Young people’s experiences of homelessness are different from other age groups, so the solutions need to be different too. We know what works. That’s why we are calling for a cross-departmental strategy, prioritising prevention, housing & finances, to end youth homelessness.
As a coalition of over 100 youth organisations, we’re calling on government to commit to a strategy to end youth homelessness.
We need a #PlanForThe129k.
This response was given on 22 February 2024
Government is committed to tackling homelessness and ending rough sleeping for good. Our strategy is backed by over £2bn over 3 years. Tackling youth homelessness is critical to this strategy.
Read the response in full
Every child and young person deserves a roof over their head and a safe place to call home.
The Government is firmly committed to tackling all forms of homelessness including youth homelessness. The Government’s Ending Rough Sleeping for Good strategy, published in 2022 and backed by over £2 billion, recognises the particular challenges facing young people experiencing homelessness.
The strategy puts prevention at its heart. The Government has committed over £1 billion to councils in England through the Homelessness Prevention Grant to help them prevent homelessness over three years, including youth homelessness. Councils can use the funding flexibly – for example, to offer financial support for people to find a new home, to work with landlords to prevent evictions or to provide temporary accommodation.
In addition, in his Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced Government is increasing the Local Housing Allowance to the 30th percentile of market rents from April. This will mean 1.6m low-income households will be around £800 a year better off on average in 2024-25, and will make it more affordable for young people on benefits to rent properties in the private rented sector.
Government support for housing-led solutions includes the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP), which aims to provide longer term supported housing, Housing First and other housing-led accommodation with accompanying support, including for young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness or rough sleeping.
So far, £150 million has been allocated to adult and young people’s projects through SHAP in 46 local authority areas to deliver 1,230 homes and accompanying support services.
The Rough Sleeping Initiative 2022-25 includes £2.5 million of funding at youth-specific services in 8 local authorities across England. This funding develops specialist youth support such as outreach workers, prevention officers and specialist housing for those under 25.
Up to £3 million funding is available in 2023/24 to provide targeted support to young people leaving care, those most at risk of homelessness and rough sleeping. This funding is targeted across 56 local authorities in England, those with the highest need and will provide financial support to children’s services and housing teams to encourage improved partnership working through the introduction of joint protocols.
A proportion of the Local Authority Housing Fund worth over £1 billion also goes towards temporary accommodation, helping to alleviate homelessness.
We have also put in place bespoke support for local authorities through our Homelessness Advice and Support Team, which includes dedicated youth homelessness advisor roles that have a commitment to work with local authorities to proactively promote positive joint working across housing authorities and children’s services, offering training, advice and support to all local authorities.
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
At 100,000 signatures...
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament