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Council Housing: Young People

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many 18 to 21-year-olds are housed as priority need owing to their status as a former relevant child. (295829)

Information about English local housing authorities' actions under the homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected at local authority level, and published by the Department in the quarterly Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, available both in the Library and via the CLG website:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/homelessnessq22009

Data collected includes the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty to secure that suitable accommodation is available (“homeless acceptances”). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.

The priority need categories include a person (other than a relevant student) who is under 21 and, at any time after reaching the age of 16, but while still under 18, was, but is no longer, looked after, accommodated or fostered. Between April and June 2009 (the most recent period for which data are available), 130 homeless acceptances fell within this priority need category.

The priority need categories also include a person (other than a relevant student) who has reached the age of 21 and who is vulnerable as a result of having been looked after, accommodated or fostered. Between April and June 2009, 40 homeless acceptances fell within this priority need group, but it is not possible to identify the age of the applicants.

The term “relevant student” means a person to whom section 24B(3) of the Children Act 1989 applies, who is in full time further or higher education and whose term-time accommodation is not available to him during a vacation.

Former relevant children under 21 are likely to qualify for advice and assistance from the responsible Children's Services authority, including assistance in meeting their accommodation needs. The general expectation is that they will receive sufficient support to avoid them becoming homeless. However, if a former relevant child's accommodation arrangements break down unavoidably, the homelessness legislation provides a safety net to ensure they will have suitable accommodation available.