The single biggest cause of homelessness - Homelessness in Numbers Briefing #1

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 - 3:04pm

The proportion of households made homeless due to the ending of a private rented sector tenancy has almost doubled since 2011.

The story behind the numbers

When a homeless household turns to their local council for help, the main reason for their homelessness is recorded.

For the past year, the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy (the main type of tenancy used in the private rented sector) has been the biggest single cause of homelessness. This has increased steadily, from 15% in 2011 to 29% today. In London it is even higher, with nearly 4 in 10 (39%) households stating loss of a shorthold tenancy as the primary reason they have approached the council for help.

More than 4 million people live in the private rented sector today, more than double the number in 2002. At the same time, private landlords offer some of the worst housing conditions, with 30% of properties failing to meet the Decent Homes Standard and 37% of private rented sector tenants living in poverty.

Figures taken from government statistics on statutory homelessness (DCLG), the English Housing Survey and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Download this briefing as a PDF factsheet below.

More facts and figures:

Homelessness in numbers #1: the single biggest cause of homelessness

The single biggest cause of homelessness in England is the ending of a tenancy in the private rented sector.


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Francesca Albanese

Francesca was our Research Manager from April 2014 to December 2015.