Each year more than 80,000 young people experience homelessness. Homelessness puts young people in dangerous situations and leaves them unable to fulfil their potential.
Government statistics show that the number of young people sleeping rough in England increased by 28 per cent between 2016 and 2017. The number of people aged 16 to 25 sleeping rough in London has doubled since 2010.
Depaul UK welcomes the Government’s commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022, and end it by 2027. The Government’s recent Rough Sleeping Strategy could help young people sleeping rough to move off the streets, but much more needs to be done to prevent young people from becoming homeless in the first place.
Last year Depaul UK worked with more than 3,700 young people across the country who were homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The below recommendations are based on our experience of delivering services to these young people.
1. Invest in services that prevent young people from becoming homeless.
2. Bring housing benefit for young people back in line with the real cost of renting.
3. Further modify Universal Credit to reduce the length of time it takes for people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to receive their first payment.