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National Homeless Advice Service

Emergency housing: what are the options?

Local authorities will use emergency and temporary accommodation to house homeless young people during an assessment of their needs or where they have been found to be statutorily homeless.

Different accommodation types will be appropriate to different age groups and those who have specialised support needs.

Local authorities can also commission the voluntary and community sector to provide temporary accommodation to both statutory and non-statutory homeless young people.

It is unlikely that vulnerable young people will need only a roof over their head, therefore emergency accommodation for young people must be appropriate, in that it provides services as well as accommodation. Emergency housing provided for young people aged 16 and 17 may differ slightly from that provided to homeless young people aged 18 to 25.

Local authorities should provide services which support a return to the family home where appropriate, or help the young person to plan a move to more independent accommodation. The local authority should consider the possibility of the break-down of accommodation arrangements, and ensure that there are contingency plans for dealing with this.

Bed and breakfast accommodation is not suitable for homeless 16 and 17 year olds, and other vulnerable young people.

Young people in emergency accommodation may still be able to move back home in the future - for more information, see the section on returning to the family home.

Additional options may be available for the support and housing of care leavers.

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