Young People's Housing Advice

Young people's housing and support options in Devon

Sofa Surfing 

Many young people who for different reasons find themselves with nowhere to live or stay for a while, do what is called ‘sofa surfing’. This usually means staying with different friends, often on their floor or if you are lucky on their sofa.

Sometimes young people have to stay with different friends each night, sometimes, again if you are lucky you’ll be able to stay somewhere for a week or so before you have to move on.

If you find yourself in this situation go and seek advice and support from either your local council or Yes Centre. Click Here


Take a look at this film about sofa surfing

Young people who sofa surf for long periods of time often find it difficult to keep going to college/work keep in contact with close friends/family and keep up with other things they may need to do. This is because they will need to spend a lot of time finding the next place to stay, if they do manage to find a place to stay, its not usually a comfy place, so they don’t sleep as well. Another difficult thing is going to bed when you are tired, young people often say they are only comfortable going to bed when everyone else has gone. Young people can sometimes feel uncomfortable eating other peoples food, so eating regularly can become a problem. Some young people have ended up staying with ‘friends of friends’ and this is not always a safe thing to do if you don’t know the person that well.


If you do feel you need to sofa surf, then you may find the following advice helpful.

  • Always go and get some housing advice and support. Some local councils and Yes Centres can refer you to Nightstop if you're aged 16-25 and if you are 16/17 there are also supported lodgings that you can be referred to. Also some young people are entitled to B&B. Your needs will need to be assessed for these emergency accommodation services and there might not always be places available so a place is not always guaranteed. But its worth a try.

  • Try to sort out where you are going to stay the day before you need it. If you leave it too late to contact a mate then you could find yourself with no where to go.

  • If you are staying in your mates parents house, check out with them yourself whether it’s ok to stay- don’t just rely on your mates say so.

  • If your friend lives in a housing project and you want to stay with them, check with the staff at the project first. Some young people who don’t ask permission or do it too many times get asked to leave their housing project so both you and your mate will be without anywhere to stay. Also you may want to live in that project and are waiting for a vacancy, staying uninvited could lose you an offer of accommodation.

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