End use of B&Bs for teens

The Government must end the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for 16- and 17-year-olds, homelessness charity Centrepoint has demanded.

It warned that placing young people in B&Bs condemned many to living in isolation, in poor conditions and at risk of violence and abuse.

Its recent report, Unfit Housing for Young People, finds that nearly two-thirds of local authorities surveyed had no plans about how to house this age group and a further third had no plans to offer them supported accommodation. This is despite the Homelessness Act 2002, placing a duty on councils to make homeless 16- and 17-years olds a priority.

Centrepoint is calling on the government to extend the rule that prevents children and families from being housed in B&Bs for more than six weeks to this age group.

“Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are not only too young to cope with being homeless, but often have not dealt with the traumatic situation which made them homeless in the first place,” said Anthony Lawton, chief executive officer of Centrepoint.

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