The full extent of youth homelessness is more than eight times higher than the Government admits. Some 136,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 in England and Wales sought emergency housing in the past year, according to an analysis by the Centrepoint charity of 275 Freedom of Information responses from local authorities. Only 16,000 young people were officially classed as "statutory homeless". Centrepoint says the Government needs to change the way it reports homelessness figures; all young people going for help should be assessed for their needs; and more funding is needed to enable councils to deal with the problem. Matt Downie from the charity Crisis commented: "Our own research shows that when homeless people go to their council for help, all too often they are turned away to sleep on the streets." Peter Box from the LGA warned: "A chronic shortage of affordable housing and 40% cuts to council budgets over the past five years means councils are facing real difficulties in finding emergency care for all homeless people."
Independent on Sunday,