Making a difference - Supported lodgings as a housing option for young people

1. Local authorities and their partners are making considerable inroads into the task of meeting the Government’s target of eliminating the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds, except in an emergency and then for no more than six weeks. By 30 June 2008 the number staying in bed and breakfast had fallen from approximately 1,000 in September 2006 to 420, 160 of whom had been placed for more than six weeks. Supported lodgings services have played an important role in this in some areas, and Communities and Local Government has supported a number of new services in 2007-08. 2. The aim of this guide is to inform and support local authorities’ planning and commissioning of supported lodgings within the context of strategies to tackle youth homelessness. 3. Supported lodgings services provide a young person with a room of their own in a private home where they are a member of the household, but are not expected to become a member of the family. The householder, or host, provides a safe and supportive environment, working alongside professional services to help and support the young person in gaining skills for independent adult life. 4. There are two broad types of supported lodgings service, those which offer: • a response to a crisis in the home life of a young person by housing them for a short time (between one night and six weeks) while efforts are made to resolve the crisis in a way which enables them safely to resume living with their family or move in with extended family or friends • a lodging for up to two or three years for a young person while they develop skills and confidence and prepare for adult life. Both types of service are funded and organised in similar ways, but there are different expectations of the role of the host and outcomes for the young person. 5. This guide is based on a review of supported lodgings services in 17 local authority areas in England, and of data collected through the Supporting People programme.

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