How many people sleep rough in the UK?

Nationally it is estimated that 1.3 million young people slept rough or in an unsafe place in the last twelve months with just under 40,000 young people sleeping rough on any one night.

This research was undertaken by Cambridge Centre for Housing and planning and shows that the number of young people experiencing homelessness or failing to access the housing they need is much higher than official figures suggest. It also highlights the importance of district housing authorities collecting coherent, national data on youth homelessness. This is essential if the true scale of youth homelessness is to be understood so that homeless young people receive the support and safe accommodation they urgently need.

Homelessness amongst young people 16-25 year olds is notoriously difficult to record; current estimates on youth homelessness from the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning who undertook research for Centrepoint and published its findings in July 2015, found that youth homelessness is significantly underestimated believing that it is likely that 83,000 young people had to be accommodated by local authorities or accessed homeless services during 2013 to 2014.

It is evident that there are more gaps in service for homeless young people than was originally thought, particularly for young people aged 18 to 25. There is a culture that as soon as a young person reaches 18 they are more resilient and their ability to ‘fend’ for themselves is greater than when they were 17.


Source of figures: Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research July 2015