Over 5,000 young people homeless or at risk of homlessness in Greater Manchester

Date published: 07 November 2018

5,044 young people in Greater Manchester approached their local authority for help in 2017/18 because they were homeless or at risk of homelessness, according to new findings from leading youth homelessness charity Centrepoint. 

Centrepoint collected the data through Freedom of Information Requests (FOI). All 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester provided data on the number of young people who approached them because they were homeless, or at risk, meaning the figure of 5,044 is exact.

In Rochdale, 94 young people approached the council because they were homeless or at risk. All were assessed with 49 being accepted as statutorily homeless.

The 2017/18 data covers the final 12 months before the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act, which places an obligation on councils to provide support to prevent and relieve homelessness, including through free tailored information and advice and a personalised housing plan.

Centrepoint is working in partnership with Manchester City Council to help assess 16-24-year-olds who ask for help and make sure they get the best support available.

This partnership allows Centrepoint to use its expertise working with young people to deliver a first-class service focused on young people’s needs.

But the charity is concerned that the funding provided to councils to enable them to fulfil their new duties is not enough. Based on the government’s own costings, Centrepoint estimates that 234 per cent more funding, totalling more than £1.2M, is needed across Greater Manchester to cover the cost of assessing and providing prevention to all 16 to 24-year-olds affected by homelessness.

Commenting on the figures Centrepoint’s Chief Executive, Seyi Obakin, said: “Across Greater Manchester thousands of young people asked their council for help with homelessness last year.

“Under the Homelessness Reduction Act councils are required to assess and support all young people coming through their doors. The Act is a big step in the right direction, but our analysis suggests the funding provided comes nowhere near what is required for councils to fulfil their new duties.

“The government has been increasingly vocal on the issue of homelessness but without extra funding for councils to meet their new obligations they are risking setting councils up to fail.”  

Peter Maynard, head of housing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: ‘The council works to support all households which are at risk of becoming homeless, including young people.

"Young people at risk of homelessness are particularly vulnerable because their housing options are so limited. Departments across the council work together to try and support any household where a young person is at risk  and our aim is always to ensure that young people can remain at home or return to live with their family, where it is safe and appropriate to do so.  

"The introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act and the increase in demand for all types of housing across the borough has resulted in greater pressure on critical services and we have increased the support available to prevent homelessness accordingly. Where we are unable to prevent young people becoming homeless, finding suitable accommodation and support to enable them to live independently is both challenging and costly.

"We would advise anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to contact us at the earliest opportunity on 0300 303 8548 (during office hours) or  0300 303 8875 (out of hours)."

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