This Government implemented the Homelessness Reduction Act, the most ambitious reform to homelessness legislation in decades, which placed new duties on local housing authorities to take reasonable steps to try to prevent and relieve a person’s homelessness. means that many more young people who may not previously have been eligible for support, are now being helped to prevent homelessness before it occurs.
The Act also places a duty on public bodies, including Children’s Services, Youth Offending Institutions and Youth Offending Teams ensuring better partnership working with local authorities to prevent youth homelessness.
We have also put in place bespoke support for local authorities through our Homelessness Advice and Support Team, which includes dedicated youth homelessness advisor roles that have a commitment to work with local authorities to proactively promote positive joint working across housing authorities and children’s services, offering training, advice and support to all local authorities. Alongside this, the department has funded St Basil’s, a specialist youth homelessness charity, to develop and disseminate best practice pathways for preventing youth homelessness, as well as running the annual Youth Homelessness Parliament, giving young people a voice on the issues that affect them.
The Youth Advisers are working closely with local authorities on the particular challenges that young people and care leavers are facing during COVID-19.
Government has also provided significant additional funding to support people sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough during the pandemic. At the beginning of the crisis, our priority was to urgently bring vulnerable people inside so they could self-isolate and stop the virus spreading. We backed this with £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers, and a further £3.7 billion to help councils to manage the impacts of COVID-19, including supporting homeless people.
On 24 June we announced that we are providing local authorities with a further £105 million to enable them to best support the 15,000 people placed into emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic