Homeless statistics underline need to tackle the housing crisis

Thursday, 11 December 2014 - 12:06pm

Read our response to the latest homeless numbers

Published today, the latest Government Homelessness figures show that:

  • There were 27,970 applications to councils in England for help with homelessness in Q3 2014. This is a 2% decrease compared to Q3 2013 (28,460).
  • Only 50% of these applications were accepted by councils. Although the number of acceptances (13,900) increased by 4% compared to Q3 2013 (13,370).
  • The increase in homelessness due to the end of shorthold tenancies continues to rise, accounting for 29% of all acceptances. It is now the single biggest cause of homelessness.
  • There has been a 6% increase in use of temporary accommodation by councils to house homeless households (57,420 in Q3 2013 to 60,940 in Q3 2013). 
  • The number of homeless households placed by their council in other local authority areas increased by 29% from 11,860 to 15,260.

Commenting on the figures, Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said:

“Although, there has been a small decrease in people applying for help with homelessness, the statistics underline that we are still not doing enough to tackle the causes of homelessness.

“We believe more households are becoming homeless because of rising rents or landlords unwilling to let properties to those on benefits.  More families are being placed in temporary accommodation, away from where they live because some councils just don’t have enough housing stock. This does not even cover the half who apply for help with homelessness and get their application turned down by councils. Nor does it include those who seek help directly from charities.

“Councils and charities tell us that they are struggling to meet the demand for help with homelessness.  The message for politicians is clear. We need more, better quality homes and stronger consumer rights for tenants. We also need a long-term strategy to prevent people losing their accommodation in the first place.”

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Stephen Holland

Stephen served as our Communications Officer until January 2016.