Across England, around 44 per cent of people who access homelessness services in England are aged 18–24. And young people are three times more likely to have experienced homelessness over the past five years than are adults.

Early intervention to support young people and their families can reduce rates of homelessness. However, the relevant services need sufficient funding, specialist expertise, and effective partnerships. Good practice in supporting young homeless people is well established in the north east of England, but funding constraints remain a constant challenge. Where personalised support and ‘psychologically informed environments’ are available, these are effective in helping young people to move on. However, in order to do so they need access to suitable and affordable rental properties – and even in a region known for its relatively cheap housing, these can be hard to find.

This report builds on IPPR North’s recent publication, The future of transitional supported housing, exploring the case of one key group of people who often rely on supported housing – young people affected by homelessness. We present findings from a study in the north east of England which looked at the experiences of stakeholders in the area of youth homelessness, including support services and young people themselves.

This report identifies the key policy challenges, and puts forward recommendations for government, and regional and national stakeholders.