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Fears over youth homelessness in Burnley
A SURGE is being predicted in teenage homelessness in Burnley after changes to an allocation policy.
Very few 16 and 17-year-olds will be eligible for social housing after alterations to the B-with-Us lettings scheme, Burnley Council’s executive has been told.
And there has been a spike in the number of people leaving care, aged 18, in the Burnley area who require housing. In the last quarter alone there were six – which is more than the previous 12 months total.
Council bosses are now seeking a meeting with Lancashire County Council to draw up a new protocol for dealing with young homeless cases.
New leaflets said to be ‘young person friendly’ are being produced to outline the options for 16 to 18 year olds without a roof over their heads.
Another problem area, since the closure of Burnley Women’s Aid, has been the number of referrals made to the authority from Lancashire police.
Not all women fleeing domestic violence with their families are either suitable or require places in the town’s refuge so altenatives have to be considered.
Jon Cook, a consultant for Contineo, a firm asked to review Burnley’s homelessness position for a new strategy, said there had been a number of notable successes in recent years.
Homelessness cases increased markedly in 2011-12 but had dropped back 25 per cent in 2012-13, with 62 cases qualifying as ‘priority’ homeless.
But he added: “There has been a significant rise in the number of presentations made by non-priority homeless people aged 18 to 35 in the last two years.”
This and other issues, including appointing a link worker for people being released after serving custodial sentences, will be addressed by a new borough-wide homelessness strategy, which is set to be adopted by the council’s executive.
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