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Thousands of young people face homeless Christmas, charity says

More than 22,000 young people could be homeless or at risk of being made homeless in England this Christmas, according to a study.

Centrepoint, the youth homeless charity, said its analysis laid bare for the first time the scale of the issue among young people over winter. The data has been collected after the passage of the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2017.

Under the terms of the act, councils must collect details of people presenting to them as homeless. The figures follow research by the housing charity Shelter that revealed that the cost of housing families in temporary accommodation had exceeded £1bn for the first time.

Centrepoint sent freedom of information requests to all 326 councils in England asking how many 16- to 25-year-olds had presented as homeless or were at risk of becoming homeless last winter. Of those, 248 responded.

From that data, and its research with local councils, Centrepoint has projected that about 22,250 young people will seek help for homelessness between November 2019 and January 2020, enough young people to fill the O2 Arena in London.

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