During 2008, YHNE undertook a comprehensive consultation exercise looking at the issues and solutions to youth homelessness in the region. We hosted a consultation event, gaining the views of over 40 service providers and a number of service users. In July 2008, YHNE joined with partners from Government Office for the North East and the North East Housing Board to organise a summit for more than 25 housing associations, elected members, strategic partnership chairs and support providers to agree five priority shared solutions to tackle youth homelessness in the region.
A Regional Position Statement published in September 2008 and endorsed by the North East Housing Board reported on the findings of the summit and outlined the five shared solutions identified:
- Improve quality of temporary and supported accommodation to “Places of Change” ethos. ‘good quality homeless accommodation which creates better tenants and changes lives’.
- Increase early intervention work in schools and with families, learning from best practice already existing in the region.
- Strengthen partnership working at a regional level, through strategy and policy which sets targets and draws together capital and revenue streams.
- Explore local and regional solutions to obstacles posed by transition it adulthood.
- Improve and make transparent accountability for all providers in meeting the needs of young homeless people.
The strategy is based on the premise that;
‘If we only provide homeless services to young people, we’ll only get homeless young people.’ Youth Homeless Adviser, DCLG at YHNE Move-on event, 3rd April 2012.
We have therefore produced not a homeless strategy but rather a Regional Youth Housing Strategy that sets out our plans to address young peoples’ housing needs through a coherent regional approach.
The strategy provides a regional context, policy framework and a current picture of youth homelessness. The strategy is under-pinned by five themes identified by youth homeless services from across the region and endorsed by the North East Housing Board. It establishes a regional strategic approach and a clear set of actions to delivering those themes across the North East.
Youth Housing Strategy