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National Homeless Advice Service

Introduction: when it’s time to go

Although many young people leave home before they are ready, due to family crisis or a breakdown in relationships, it does not necessarily follow that they will become homeless.

A joined-up approach to the needs of a young person facing a housing crisis will see a package of measures designed first and foremost to support the young person, for example by giving them a short break to allow mediation and other help to be put in place, or provide them with appropriate short-term accommodation while other options are considered.

Although emergency accommodation options must be available, the emphasis should continue to be on prevention of homelessness, so simply rehousing the young person is unlikely to be the only or best option. This section looks at access to housing and support for young people at the point of housing crisis. These must be appropriate to the needs of vulnerable young people, and assessments of their situation should focus not just on their immediate needs, but on their abilities to live away from home, and the possibilities of a return home or a stay with friends and extended family.

This section looks at problems with accommodation options for young people and different housing options for other young people such as care leavers.

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