Success In Housing ‘Homeless 16-17 Year Olds’

The number of 16 and 17 year olds placed in bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation has fallen by a third, Communities Minister Iain Wright announced today.

New statistics show the number of 16 and 17 year old households put into B&B accommodation by local authorities has dropped to around 700 from 1,000 reported at the end of September last year.

The Government pledged last November to end the use of B&B as accommodation for homeless 16 and 17 year olds as part of a national plan in partnership with the voluntary sector and local authorities, to prevent and tackle youth homelessness.

The reductions have been achieved through a range of measures, including supported lodgings schemes offering accommodation, advice, and better mediation services for young people.

The programme is helping young people to develop independent living skills and find settled homes, and provide a respite for those who may be able to return to the family home after mediation.

Mr Wright also announced continued reductions in the new cases of homelessness and the numbers of households living in temporary accommodation.

National Statistics released today show that new cases of homelessness reported by local authorities have fallen by 18 per cent in comparison to the same period last year to 15,960 – the lowest level since the early 1980s.

The number of households placed in temporary accommodation is down 10 per cent compared to the same date last year, falling to 84,900 from 93,910. 87 per cent of those in temporary accommodation are in self-contained homes with their own front door.

Communities Minister Iain Wright said: “Young people can face the most severe consequences of homelessness and risk falling into a downward spiral without the proper support to help rebuild their lives. That’s why we have made it a priority to end the use of bed and breakfast for homeless 16 and 17 year olds. Already, we have seen real progress in meeting this target and delivering our national plan to reduce and prevent youth homelessness. But we are not complacent and recognise there is still much more to do to help and support young people who are no longer able to stay in the family home.”

Wright also announced today that the target to reduce rough sleeping by two thirds is being sustained, along with the successful bids for cash grants from the £450,000 fund to kick start innovative employment and training projects in hostels.
It is part of Communities and Local Government’s £90 million programme which is transforming hostels into modern places of change where homeless people are not just given a bed for the night and a meal but access to the training and support to get on with their lives.

A third round of Regional Champions for homelessness was announced today, with 17 local authorities and registered social landlord being appointed.

They will help councils draw up plans to prevent and tackle homelessness in the region and provide training to raise the standards of local authorities.

The Government recently outlined plans in its Housing Green Paper to reduce pressures on social housing and tackle overcrowding, pledging £8 billion to build 3 million new affordable and social homes by 2020.

This includes £6.5 billion in new social housing over the next three years, building 45,000 new social homes a year by 2010 -11 with a goal to reach 50,000 homes per year after 2011.