The hidden homelessness of the UK: Sofa Surfing

  • A recent survey has revealed that one in five 16-25 year-olds in the UK sleep on floors or sofas of extended family or friends due to not having any other form of accommodation./images/briefing/home.jpg

    According to the ComRes poll for youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, family relationship breakdown was found to be a major cause of 'sofa-surfing' as 20% of those who had to live on floors and sofas in the last year stated it was because their parents were unable or unwilling to provide them with accommodation.  The poll of 2,000 young people aged 16-25 found that one in five (21%) of those who had to live in someone else's front room in the last year had nowhere else to go due to eviction or their tenancy being ended.

    One in ten (11%) of those young people who had to sofa surf reported that they had to flee their homes as they were afflicted by domestic violence.

    Centrepoint is asking people to donate to try save the lives of young people over the festive period after it was revealed that young people are twice as likely to die in comparison to their peers. It was estimated that 15,000 young people will be without a home over Christmas and in the last year, more than 1,000 beds for homeless people have been lost.

    "The government doesn't track the number of young people sofa surfing, but our poll makes clear that goodwill is the only thing keeping too many young people across the UK from sleeping on the streets, " reports Seyi Obakin, Centrepoint's chief executive.

    "Some may see sofa surfing as a solution in the short-term, but in fact it can be hugely detrimental for a young person's prospects. Stuck on a carousel of sofas and floors, young people are unable to build a future for themselves and are hidden from those that can support them in leaving homelessness behind."

    Read more here.

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