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Homelessness: Children

Question for Department for Communities and Local Government

UIN HL1120, tabled on 11 July 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many children aged 16 or 17 have presented to their local authority as homeless in (1) 2015–16, and (2) 2014–15, and how many of those were (a) assessed under the Housing Act 1996, and (b) assessed and then accommodated under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996.

Answered on

25 July 2016

One person without a home is one too many. That is why we have maintained and protected homelessness prevention funding for local authorities through the local government finance settlement totalling £315 million by 2019/20. We have also increased central government funding to tackle homelessness to £139 million over the next four years.

The causes of youth homelessness are highly complex and our priority is to ensure that young people at risk of homelessness get the support they need. That is why we have also invested in the development of a Positive Pathway framework to help local authorities and their partners support young people to remain in the family home (where it is safe to do so) through a collaborative and integrated approach, as well as identifying the relevant support services needed should they become homeless. This includes supported accommodation as a starting point for 16 and 17 year olds.

Since 2002, 16 to 17 year olds have been classed as a priority need category and are owned a main homeless duty by their local authority. The number of 16 or 17 year olds who applied and were accepted as homeless was 580 in 2014-15, and 530 in 2015-16 (falling from 2,190 in 2009-10). All of these cases were dealt with under the homelessness provisions of Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.

We do not hold details on the age of applicants who reported to their local authority but were ineligible or not homeless.