As part of our ongoing drive to end youth homelessness, Centrepoint commissioned the University of York and Herriot-Watt University to look at the scale of the challenge of youth homelessness as well as the practical steps that can be taken to meet it. The research found that in 2008/9 - the most recent year for which figures are available - at least 78-80,000 young people experienced homelessness in the UK. This represents an increase of between four per cent and seven per cent compared to the last time such figures were collected, in 2006/7. The report also details five broad objectives for local authorities and the government in ending youth homelessness. They are:
- No young person should sleep rough for more than one night once in contact with an appropriate statutory or voluntary sector agency.
- Young people should not have to stay in emergency accommodation for longer than an agreed specified period (for example, three months).
- Young people should not remain in transitional accommodation when it is appropriate for them to move onto more independent accommodation.
- All young people leaving an institutional setting (care, hospital, prison) should have a suitable housing destination, with relevant support, before discharge.
- All young people who cannot remain in the parental home should be offered suitable accommodation and support within a defined pathway plan to independence.