Young people’s homelessness applications and how advisers can support a young person in making an application.
Before the young person approaches the local authority, talk to them to try to ascertain whether they are homeless, eligible, have a priority need, may be intentionally homelessness, and have a local connection. This helps the:
Evidence should prove or suggest that the young person is homeless, eligible, and have a priority need, where relevant. Although it is the local authority’s duty to make enquiries to establish this, having evidence often helps to get an application taken and for the authority to provide interim accommodation.
The local authority may be less likely to try to refuse to take an application if an adviser contacts the authority on behalf of the applicant.
If the young person is having difficulty making an application or explaining their situation to the local authority, the adviser can write a supporting letter which the young person can take with them.
Sometimes local authorities refuse to take an application or provide interim accommodation for one reason or another. This is illegal. If this happens, the young person should be referred to a specialist housing solicitor who can consider issuing judicial review proceedings against the authority.
Keep details of the local authority’s out of hours emergency service and have the telephone details available to give to a young person who may require it.
Advisers can adapt template letters to advocate on behalf of young people.