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Causes of Youth Homelessness

Here at St Basils we recognise that the causes of youth homelessness are a combination of intertwined individual and structural factors.

Structural factors putting pressure on young people or their families Individual factors affecting the young person or their family
  • Poverty
  • Inequality
  • Housing supply
  • Affordable Housing
  • Unemployment
  • Low wages on Apprenticeship schemes
  • Insecure Employment
  • Welfare Reform including Universal Credit and other policy failures
  • Freezing Local Housing Allowance levels
  • Poor physical or mental health
  • Bereavement
  • Violence and Abuse
  • Trauma
  • Drug or Alcohol issues
  • Experience of Care and/or prison

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The bottom line

Anyone can be affected by homelessness but for some it is more likely. Some will reach crisis, some will need to recover but all are affected by a shortage of affordable housing.

National Youth homelessness statistics

Youth homelessness is defined as young people aged 16-25 who have no permanent fixed address or have been served an eviction notice.

  • Research suggests there are around 86,000 young people experiencing homelessness in the UK and around 8,500 in the West Midlands [source: Centrepoint].

Causes of youth homelessness

  • On a personal level, over half (54 per cent) of homeless young people left their last settled base because their parents, other relative or friends were no longer willing to accommodate them.
  • On a structural or environmental level other factors found to be statistically significant include: The percentage of children (aged under 20) in the area who are from low
    income families, The number of apprenticeship starts in the area, The affordability of home ownership in the area.
Causes of youth homelessness nationwide
Source: Centrepoint


  • The majority (58 per cent) of young people presenting as homeless or at risk of homelessness in England were not recorded as having received positive actions leading to their homelessness being successfully prevented or dealt with.
  • In England, only around 1 in 10 (13 per cent) of these young people were accepted as statutorily homeless.