FAQs - defining youth homelessness

What is youth homelessness?


Homelessness can include people living in insecure or inadequate housing as well as those rough sleeping on the streets. The Youth Homelessness Databank includes data on all young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, and have sought help from their local authority. 

For the purposes of the Youth Homelessness Databank, 'youth' means 16-24 year olds. Homeless young people have different issues and different needs to adults. There are usually complex needs involved, affecting both the young person and their families.

The Youth Homelessness Databank includes data from local authorities on the number of young people accepted as statutorily homeless. In England, this means young people who have been assessed by their council and deemed to be eligible for support, unintentionally homeless and in priority need (a term used to cover those with higher needs, for example under 18s, young people who are pregnant or with children and those who have serious health needs). Currently, the statutorily homeless figures are the only statistics on youth homelessness published for England by the government.


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