Action needed to prevent people losing their homes

Thursday, 19 June 2014 - 11:38am

Homeless Link reacts to the latest homelessness numbers.

Photograph: Milner Street by Arthur John Picton (Flickr)

Government figures published today, show that between 1 January and 31 March 2014 there were 27,310 applications to councils for help with homelessness. Whilst this represents a fall of 1% from the same period last year, just 46% of cases were accepted.

Using Cabinet Office costings of on-going homelessness support, the 12,520 accepted applications in this past quarter could have cost in excess of £33m.

There are signs that a shortage of affordable accommodation could be adding to the problem; there has been a 36% rise in the number of households housed in another area and a 3% rise in those housed in temporary accommodation, whilst 27% of those accepted for help became homeless due to the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy.  

Commenting, Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said:

“Whilst a drop in the number of people applying for statutory help with homelessness is welcome, the fact remains that more than half are being turned away from local authorities. It is also worrying that so many people are being placed in unsuitable temporary accommodation.

“Our members have told us that many individuals are losing their homes because they are struggling to keep up with rising rents. This could be prevented through better advice and support from councils, as well as greater security of tenure and quality accommodation.”

“We strongly urge government and local authorities to continue investing in prevention and increasing the supply of genuinely affordable accommodation. Preventing people from losing their homes in the first place is better for the well-being of individuals and significantly cheaper for taxpayers in the long run.” 

Compared to Q1 2013, the latest stats show that in Q1 2014:

  • Applications are down by 4%
  • Acceptances are down by 7%
  • Rate of acceptance is 46%, down 1%
  • Use of temporary accommodation has risen by 6%
  • The use of Other Private Sector accommodation is up 30%
  • Households placed in other LA areas has increased 36%
  • Acceptances for young people are down 16%
  • The proportion of acceptances due to loss of an assured shorthold tenancy continues to rise, now 27%

Download our detailed anlysis below. 

Analysis of statutory homelessness Q1 2014

Our analysis of the Government's statutory homelessness figures for the period 1 January to 31 Match 2014.

Downloads

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Stephen Holland

Stephen served as our Communications Officer until January 2016.