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Almost 30,000 young people facing homelessness in England this winter – charity

PA Media logoPA Media 15/11/2022 By Jemma Crew, PA Social Affairs Correspondent

Almost 30,000 young people will be facing homelessness in England this winter, according to a charity’s “conservative” prediction.

Centrepoint projects that at least 29,500 people aged 16-24 will present to their local council as homeless or at risk of homelessness between October and December.

This is up 8.5% from the number who approached their local authority for help during the same period last year.

As the projection is based on historic data going back to 2017, and does not take into account external factors such as the cost-of-living crisis, the true number of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness over this period is likely to be “significantly higher”.

John Stones, who is among current and former England players who have joined together in a short film for Centrepoint’s #NotComingHome campaign (Centrepoint/PA) © Provided by PA Media John Stones, who is among current and former England players who have joined together in a short film for Centrepoint’s #NotComingHome campaign (Centrepoint/PA)

Ahead of the World Cup, current and former England players have joined together in a short film for Centrepoint’s #NotComingHome campaign, highlighting the plight of young people who are not coming home because they do not have a home to go to.

Among those taking part are current England footballers John Stones, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Lioness Beth Mead, ex-players Sir Geoff Hurst and Micah Richards, and celebrities including comedians Jack Whitehall and Asim Chaudhry.

Separate new Centrepoint research suggests that more than a third (39%) of UK adults aged 18-34 have worried about being able to keep a roof over their heads during the last year.

Almost half (49%) of respondents were concerned about how they will afford rent or mortgage payments in the next 12 months, according to the survey of 2,000 UK adults by Opinium between September and November.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has taken part in a short film for Centrepoint’s #NotComingHome campaign (Centrepoint/PA) © Provided by PA Media Trent Alexander-Arnold has taken part in a short film for Centrepoint’s #NotComingHome campaign (Centrepoint/PA)

And the same proportion were worried about how they will afford food, while 48% were worried they will not be able to afford essential bills such as phone and internet in the next year.

Seyi Obakin, Centrepoint chief executive, said: “This cost-of-living crisis is pushing vulnerable young people closer to breaking point than ever before.

“Everyone should be able to keep a roof over their heads, pay their bills and put food on the table.

“That is becoming increasingly difficult for the country’s most vulnerable young people, some of whom have just £5 a week to live on after rent and bills.

Beth Mead joined the Centrepoint campaign (Centrepoint/PA) © Provided by PA Media Beth Mead joined the Centrepoint campaign (Centrepoint/PA)

“This comes at an enormous personal cost of skipped meals, poor mental health and isolation.

“Around 30,000 young people could face homelessness this winter – but this is a conservative prediction, and it is likely that this number will be significantly higher.

“The Government has taken some steps to support young people during this crisis, but it’s clear that they are still struggling. We need further action if we are to avoid more and more young people facing homelessness.”

Sir Geoff Hurst has backed Centrepoint’s #NotComingHome campaign (Centrepoint/PA) © Provided by PA Media Sir Geoff Hurst has backed Centrepoint’s #NotComingHome campaign (Centrepoint/PA)

A Government spokesman said: “We are investing £2 billion over three years so we can end rough sleeping and prevent homelessness.

“This is providing thousands of beds, long-term supported homes and funding for councils to prevent evictions.

“More than half a million households have been prevented from becoming homeless since 2018 and we are helping households with the cost of living through a £37 billion cost-of-living support package to help the most vulnerable pay their bills and stay in their homes.”

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