Hitting brick walls: barriers faced by homeless care leavers

Young people are more vulnerable than ever to homelessness. Between 2016/17 and 2019/20, youth homelessness increased by 40%. In 2020/21 over a fifth of households accessing local authority support to prevent or end their homelessness were aged between 16-24.

Worryingly, this trend has accelerated under the Covid-19 pandemic as young people at risk of homelessness were particularly vulnerable to volatile housing situations during the pandemic. Sofa surfing was no longer a valid option, alongside the impact and pressure lockdown had on increasing family breakdown.

Government data shows young people aged 18-24 were the only age group who saw an increase between 2019/20 and 2020/21 in statutory homelessness, in particular by households aged 16-24 without children who increased by 15%. In terms of rough sleeping, there was a 50% increase in young people who presented at their local authority as rough sleepers in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20.

In collaboration with New Horizon and Youth Legal, our latest report,‘Hitting brick walls: barriers faced by homeless care leavers’, calls for stronger safeguards to protect young care leavers from homelessness, ahead of the Independent Care Review publishing its final recommendations to Government.

Read the report to read crucial insight from care leavers who have become homeless and tangible solutions the Government could deploy to help change the lives of young people in similar situations.