Latest homelessness statistics are stark reminder that change is crucial

Thursday, 23 March 2017 - 4:03pm

Homeless Link responds to the Government’s homelessness statistics for Q4 2016, released on 23 March.

The number of households in temporary accommodation increased by 10% annually to 75,740 in the last quarter of 2016, according to the offical homelessness statistics released by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The number of households accepted as homeless by local authorities in Q4 was 14,420, which is down 3% on the previous quarter, and a decrease of 0.4% on the same quarter in 2015. The main cause of homelessness continues to be the end of an assured shorthold tenancy, at 31%.

Of those households living in temporary accommodation, 5,990 have been housed in bed and breakfasts – an annual increase of 17%. In addition, a total of 21,910 households (29%) were living in temporary accommodation outside their local area, which represents a year-on-year increase of 17%. The majority of those households - 91% - were from London local authorities.

Homeless Link's Chief Executive, Rick Henderson, commented:

“This picture of homelessness provides another stark reminder that our current systems are failing some of our most vulnerable people. Having to resort to placing households in temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfasts is extremely undesirable and costly. These properties are often of a poor standard, expensive and damaging to those who live there.

“The Homelessness Reduction Bill cannot be implemented soon enough; its measures to prevent homelessness from occurring in the first place are urgently needed to help turn this situation around, improving people’s lives and reducing the pressure on local authorities and homelessness services. However, the Bill alone won’t be enough. We once again urge the Government to implement a cross-departmental strategy to end homelessness – an essential measure that we have seen bring about positive change in the past.”

Compared to Q4 2015, the latest statistics show that in Q4 2016:

  • The number of applications increased 5%
  • The number of acceptances decreased 0.4%
  • The rate of acceptance was 52%
  • Homelessness due to the loss of an assured shorthold tenancy remained the biggest cause of homelessness at 31%
  • Use of temporary accommodation rose by 10%
  • The number of households in temporary accommodation outside of their local area increased by 17% year-on-year to 21,910, or 29% of all homeless households.

Click on the following link for Government statistics for Statutory homelessness and homelessness prevention and relief, England: July to September 2016.

See Homeless Link’s interactive data tool for more figures on statutory homelessness.  

Talk To Us

Louise Weaver

Communications manager

Louise is the communications manager at Homeless Link.

Telephone: 0207 840 4427
Email: louise.weaver@homelesslink.org.uk