Local housing authorities and Registered Providers (usually housing associations) can take steps to facilitate young people’s access to the social rented sector.
Many young people assume that they will be offered accommodation in the social housing sector. However, not only is there an extreme shortage in many areas of suitable and affordable social housing, but with the Localism Act 2011, local housing authorities can end the main homelessness duty by arranging an offer of suitable accommodation in the private rented sector, without requiring the applicant’s agreement.
In most areas of England, it now far more likely that young people will move on into the private sector rather than into social housing. However, there are still actions which local housing authorities and Registered Providers (usually housing associations) can take to facilitate young people’s access to the sector, and to improve the sustainability of tenancies:
Research in 2011 by the University of Sheffield demonstrated that of all groups of homeless single people moving to settled accommodation, young people were the ones more likely to accrue debts and rent arrears, and more likely to be threatened with eviction and to become homeless again, but that they are less likely to receive tenancy support. Housing-related floating support can alleviate this and can provide an effective transition for a young person from (for example) supported accommodation to entirely independent accommodation.