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Housing rights of young people and care leavers

This content applies to England

This section looks at housing rights and options of young people and care leavers, including the duties of local authorities towards them under the homelessness legislation and the Children Act 1989 and Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.

Although this section explains rights and options that are specific to young people and care leavers under the age of 25, many young people aged 18 or over will also be able to access the assistance available to other adults. Advisers should therefore refer to other sections where appropriate.

Accommodation options and costs

Accommodation options for young people including hostels, night shelters, lodging schemes, private renting and social housing. How young people pay for and access accommodation. 

Duties to homeless 16 and 17 year olds

Local authority duties and powers towards homeless young people and care leavers. 

Duties towards children in need

Social services duty to assess children in need and their families under the Children Act 1989. 

Accommodation for homeless young people

The duty on social services under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 to accommodate homeless young people aged under 18 and their families. 

Accommodation for children in need

Duty of social services to provide accommodation under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 to certain children in need in their area who cannot live with their families. 

Homeless 16 and 17 year olds

Local authority duties and powers towards homeless young people and care leavers. 

Housing and social services cooperation

Local authority protocols and legislative framework on joint working responsibilities towards young people and care leavers. 

Duties to children leaving care

An overview of provisions for children leaving care in England and Wales. 

Challenges to housing decisions

The ways in which an assessment or decision made by a local authority under the Children Acts can be challenged. 

Tenancies for under 18s

The legal position of minors (children and young people under the age of 18) with regard to holding a tenancy, and the issues associated with this. 

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