Homeless Link has published their annual Young and Homeless report for 2013, based on a survey of homelessness organisations and local authorities and interviews with young homeless people and staff at homelessness providers. Key findings include:

·         The main cause of homelessness amongst young people is that their parents are no longer willing to house them (44%), with the main driver being the irretrievable breakdown of that relationship. Nearly half of young homeless people become homeless for this reason

·         Almost half of young homeless people are NEET at the point of becoming homeless and many lack independent living skills, sometimes due to disrupted education or difficult childhood experiences

·         Around a quarter of local authorities and two-thirds homelessness agencies reported that young people’s needs were more complex than last year

·         6 in 10 agencies said they were unable to provide support in the last month due to limited capacity

·         A range of welfare reforms are having a negative impact on young homeless people in particular, including the Shared Accommodation Rate limiting access to suitable private housing, as well as benefit sanctions

·         Local authorities prevented homelessness for around a fifth of young people approaching them for help, with homelessness more commonly prevented amongst younger people aged under 18

 

The report continues: “Family breakdown was the main driver of this cause of homelessness. 53 of 67 homelessness providers and 50 of 70 local authorities ranked this as one of the two main reasons for why families were unwilling to accommodate the young person. The breakdown in relationship with a step-parent was also a major driver.”