Centrepoint conference

National Youth Homelessness Conference 2024

Together, we really can end youth homelessness.

Reflections from the 2024 “Transitions: The National Youth Homelessness Conference” in association with Centrepoint.

Every 4 years we get to experience a whole extra day in our calendars, and this leap year, the LandAid team made the most of the opportunity by attending Centrepoint’s 2024 National Youth Homelessness Conference in Coventry.

The event saw local and national organisations from across the homelessness space come together through keynote speeches and breakout sessions. There was an invaluable opportunity to hear from young people with lived experience of homelessness, and a brilliant performance from The Choir With No Name.

This year’s theme was ‘transitions’. The transition from child, to young person, to adult is a challenging time for all young people. However, for young people experiencing homelessness, societal and structural challenges make this period even harder. As such, the conference was framed around the constant challenge thousands of young people across the UK face each and every day, and the way that charities, grants funders, councils and government advisors can, and should, work together to best combat this issue.

As youth homelessness continues to rise with almost 136,000 16-25 year olds approaching their local council for housing support in the past year alone (that’s 1 young person every 4 minutes!) this conversation is more important than ever.

(Data: Centrepoint)

2024 National Youth Homelessness Conference


We are living through incredibly uncertain economic and political times.

For thousands of young people, the ‘cost of living crisis’ has become the norm of everyday life. Rising rents and reductions in benefit payments have had the greatest impact on the country’s most vulnerable.

Almost half of 16-25 year olds experiencing homelessness go to bed each night feeling hungry, and a quarter of those are living on less than £5 per week after they have paid their essentials, like rent and bills.

The inequality gap is widening and collective action is needed.

How can we help?

1. Prevention is key.

The government currently spends £8.5 billion a year on ‘tackling homelessness’ across the UK, however much of this is directed towards patching up the problem, rather than addressing the root cause.

Investing in youth specific emergency accommodation and more truly affordable housing, in addition to providing the tools and resources needed to live independently and thrive in employment, would enable more young people to reach their full potential and be less reliant on support from local authorities.

Here at LandAid, with the remarkable support of the property and wider built environment industry, we have given out over £1 million pounds worth of grants – spanning our Safe Spaces, Capital Grants and Move-On programmes – to charities throughout the UK between 2023/2024, to enable young people to take steps forwards, and towards independent living.

Alongside this, our Employability Programme – which in collaboration with SEGRO and our corporate partner network, aims to support young people facing homelessness to develop the skills and confidence to find paid employment – has supported 142 young people to date, 20 of which are now in permanent, full-time employment.

LandAid’s Build to Rent Pathfinder initiative also sees us partnering with a growing number of Build to Rent providers to expand the opportunities for young people to move-on from temporary accommodation to secure housing.

By supporting young people into employment, education and training, and giving more young people the opportunity to live independently in a supportive, sustainable environment, collaboratively we can help more young people to break the cycle of homelessness.

2. The narrative of ‘what homelessness is’ needs to change.

There’s often a misconception that homelessness is situation of one’s own making. Yet, for many young people (between 16-25 years in particular) homelessness is not a choice, but a terrible circumstantial outcome.

Family breakdown, parental financial instability, rejection due to sexual orientation, leaving care, mental health issues and domestic violence – are just a fraction of some of the experiences that lead thousands of young people every year to seek support.

 3. No two young people are the same.

Young people simply want to feel seen and heard.

Young people are more than just statistics or ‘cases’. They are all individuals – as are their journeys and homelessness experiences.

Information and support available needs to be clear, inclusive and accessible. Differences across localities, departments and organisations can lead to confusion and inefficiency in terms of time and resources.

Thinking only about short term stability and housing, means there is little energy or thought given to the future aspirations of so many young people facing homelessness. The social injection these young people could bring to their local communities is huge, yet sadly there is a real waste of profound potential.

In the words of Toni-Ann, headline conference speaker and former CentrePoint resident who was supported through her homelessness journey: ‘Home is where the heart is. The only home I know is 24-7 despair. I know who I could be, who I should be. I don’t want to be rich, I just want to be stable’.

These powerful words were extracted from a poem written by Toni-Ann, and it was powerful for our team, and all in attendance, to hear these spoken.

Home is where the heart is. The only home I know is 24-7 despair. I know who I could be, who I should be. I don't want to be rich, I just want to be stable.

4. Working together to give young people a voice.

Since the last general election youth homelessness has risen by 12%.

With an imminent election pending there has never been a more important time to take collective action.

Currently, there is no national plan for ending youth homelessness. That’s why we’ve joined a movement, alongside over 100 other charities to advocate for a joint youth homelessness strategy, informed by young people’s lived experience. The Plan for the 136k campaign is calling for a cross-departmental solution across three specific strands: prevention, housing, and finances.

With 15,344 signatures gained on our recent parliamentary petition, we are pushing towards collective action.

You can read more about the campaign here.

'Together', we can end youth homelessness.

LandAid’s mission, with a focus on the word ‘together’, has never been more poignant. As the property industry charity we are in a fortunate and unique position, to connect many relevant parties across the built environment in support of our mission to end youth homelessness. By adopting a collective stance we can create change together.

Support LandAid's mission