“The achievements of ‘Everyone In’ alongside the impact of the vital eviction ban during the pandemic are hugely encouraging, as recorded with the overall reduction in homelessness reported today. However, once again, we see young people hardest hit.
“While the number of people declared homeless saw double-digit decreases amongst those aged 45 and over, those aged 18-24 were the only age group to have increased numbers of homelessness, up 2% year-on-year.
“Amongst all households, a 16% increase in the number of those newly declared homeless in this past year was as a result of family breakdown, abuse, or family no longer able to house them. This is something YMCAs across England and Wales have seen since the start of the pandemic and highlights a worrying trend.
“For some YMCAs, the need for housing services doubled in April and May 2020, more than half of which cited family issues in the home. Family breakdown is a leading cause of youth homelessness, and as we slowly start to emerge from the grip of COVID-19 and pressurised lockdowns, the importance of spaces for young people to feel safe and access to trusted mentors and family mediation services cannot be underestimated.
“These figures sadly reflect yet another way in which young people have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and further emphasise the vital investment and support needed by government in order for them to recover.”
YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of supported housing for young people in England and Wales, providing a bed for 8,800 people each night and collectively helping more than 20,000 people experiencing homelessness each year.