HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 cc312-3W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what improvements he is planning to housing provision for 16 and 17 year-olds who are no longer able to live in the parental home and who are not in paid employment. [57555]

Mr. Raynsford

The Code of Guidance on Allocation of Housing Accommodation and Homelessness is currently under revision and will provide more advice to help local housing authorities develop effective strategies to assist single homeless people including young people. The guidance will make clear that careleavers with very few exceptions should be regarded as "vulnerable" and considered under the homelessness legislation. Homeless 16 and 17 year olds who have no back-up support should also normally be regarded as vulnerable. In addition, housing authorities will also be advised that they should consult social services departments on the position of 16 and 17 year olds, with their consent. I hope local authorities will make good use of this guidance.

We have also established the Youth Homelessness Action Partnership to bring together senior representatives of central government, local government and the voluntary sector. The Partnership's key tasks are to: produce an agreed definition of youth homelessness; and estimate the numbers involved; identify what works in tackling and preventing youth homelessness; and disseminate good practice to all the key players. The Partnership will also contribute towards the evaluation of the impact of Government policies on youth homelessness. The work of the Partnership will be underpinned by research to be commissioned by my Department later this year.

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