Latest homelessness numbers underline desperate need to tackle housing crisis

Thursday, 17 December 2015 - 11:11am

Homeless Link reacts to the latest Government homelessness statistics. 

Photograph: Images of Money (Flickr)
Photograph: Images of Money (Flickr)

Government figures published today show that at the end of September 2015 there were 68,560 households living in temporary accommodation, a 13% increase on the same time the previous year. 78% (53,480) of these households contained children and/or a pregnant woman.  

The number of households living in bed and breakfast accommodation has increased by 26% on the same time in 2014. For households with children the increase is even greater, at 46%.

Between 1 July and 30 September 2015, 14,670 households were accepted as homeless by councils, up 4% compared to the same period in 2014. The single biggest cause of homelessness is tenancies in the private rented sector coming to an end, accounting for 31% of all cases.

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

“It is alarming to see yet another increase in the number of homeless households in England. Too many people are losing their homes and councils are clearly struggling to support those in housing need.   

“The significant increase in households being placed in temporary accommodation, particularly families with children, should send a clear signal to the Government that the housing market is broken and out of reach for those in greatest need.

“Access to genuinely affordable accommodation is one of the main routes out of homelessness, yet this remains out of reach for many. The Government has a real opportunity to prevent further increases in homelessness, but only through the commitment and investment needed to ensure there is a sufficient supply of housing that is within the means of all people.”    

The figures show:

  • There were 29,050 applications to councils for help with homelessness in Q3 2015
  • 14,670 of these were accepted, an increase of 4% on the Q3 2014
  • Homelessness due to the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy accounted for 31% of acceptances
  • At the end of September 2015 there were 68,560 households in temporary accommodation, up 13% on same time last year
  • At 30 September 2015, there were 3,000 families with children were living in bed and breakfast accommodation.

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Stephen Holland

Stephen served as our Communications Officer until January 2016.