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Half of young people facing homelessness denied help – report

More than half of young people facing homelessness who approached their local council for help last year received no meaningful support, potentially putting them at risk of sleeping rough, violence or abuse, according to a report.

More than 100,000 16- to 24-year-olds in the UK turned to their local authority for assistance in 2017-18 because they had either nowhere to live or because they were under threat of homelessness, research by Centrepoint found.

This is likely to be a “significant underestimate” of the scale of youth homelessness, the charity says, as it does not include young people who turned to charities for help, or who ended up sofa-surfing with friends, for example.

Although the 52% of homeless young people who received no help last year should now receive support under the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) introduced in April, Centrepoint said councils were not properly funded to meet their new duties.

Just 13% of young people who presented to councils as homeless were deemed eligible to be housed, while 35% received alternative support, ranging from mediation aimed at moving them back into the family home, to help with a rent deposit.

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