Laura Sharman 12 October 2015

Councils struggling to cope with extent of youth homelessness warns report

Councils turned away 30,000 young homeless people last year without providing them with any help, according to figures from charity Centrepoint.

Centrepoint's Youth Homelessness Databank showed councils are struggling to cope with the volume of young people seeking emergency housing and only had the resources available to assess 40% of requests in England.

The data also shows that of the 136,000 young people seeking emergency housing, only 16,000 were classed as ‘statutory homeless’ by their local council, an 8% reduction from 2012.

Gaia Marcus, Centrepoint Youth Homelessness Databank manager, said: 'Councils are providing services to prevent and relieve homelessness beyond what they are legally obliged to do, but insufficient funding from central government is leaving local authorities with their hands tied and putting the futures of young people at risk.

'Each young person facing homelessness deserves to be given a thorough assessment to determine the help they need. No young person should be abandoned to dangerous situations at home or on the street.’

The report calls for more funding to enable councils to assess every young person seeking help.

Cllr Peter Box, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman, said: ‘A chronic shortage of affordable housing and 40 per cent cuts to council budgets over the past five years means councils are facing real difficulties in finding emergency care for all homeless people.’

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