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Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of people classed as homeless and in priority need are under the age of 25 years in each local authority area; and if she will make a statement. (106323)

Information about local authorities’ actions under homelessness legislation is collected in respect of households rather than persons. The number of households accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty, is collected by age bands, and includes those applicants who are aged between 16 and 24 years old.

A table has been placed in the Library showing total acceptances of applicants aged between 16 and 24 years old, along with the total number of households accepted and the proportion of those where the applicant was 16-24, by each local authority, for the most recent quarter for which information is available—April to June 2006.

In total, 7,800 applicants aged between 16 and 24 years old were accepted as owed a main homelessness duty between April and June 2006, which made up40 per cent. of the total acceptance figure (19,430 households).

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced on 14 November an increased focus on tackling youth homelessness, including a commitment to end the use of bed and breakfast hotels for 16 and 17 years olds, except in emergencies, by 2010; establishing supported lodging schemes across the country; and a drive to improve access to mediation schemes.