A year after the Homelessness Reduction Act, progress on youth homelessness prevention is patchy across local authority areas, a think tank has revealed.
For early intervention to be successful, it needs to be supported across government departments and all public sector bodies, rather than being treated as purely a housing issue, a report by Reform has suggested.
The report suggests councils’ approach to youth homelessness prevention was inconsistent. It claimed: ‘While some local authorities have fostered collaboration between different organisations to provide young people with timely and wraparound support, others have admitted they need to do more.’
It claimed austerity, the lack of housing stock and currently adversely affect young people, have all impacted on making early intervention more difficult.
One of the report authors, Dr Luke Heselwood, said the new homelessness legislations was not ‘hitting the mark’.
‘Too many vulnerable young people are not getting the support they desperately need. If Minister are serious about tackling youth homelessness then they need to provide more long-term funding and ensure all public services are engaged in prevention.’
The report calls on government to standardise how information on referrals, to update guidance on homelessness prevention and to pool cash across government departments to help fund services. It also called for a fully funded requirement for local housing authorities to train other public bodies to recognise early warning signs on the risks.