Another rise in homelessness numbers shows further signs of inequality in housing market

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 - 11:01am

Government figures published today show an 8% increase in the number of households accepted as being homeless in England.

Tenancies in the private rented sector coming to an end is the single biggest cause of homelessness. There have also been an increases in the use of temporary accommodation to house homeless households, and households being placed in other local authority areas. 

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

“It is disappointing to see an increase in the number of households approaching their council for help with homelessness. We are concerned that the economic recovery is not being shared by all and leaving behind the most vulnerable, especially in light of figures last week showing a 16% rise in rough sleeping in London.   

“Homelessness as a result of assured shorthold tenancies coming to an end has risen again, indicating that the private rented market continues to be unstable for those in greatest need. Too many households are also being placed in unsuitable temporary accommodation or moved to other areas as local authorities struggle to meet demand. 

“Access to 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 access to housing that is within the means of all people.”    

The figures show:  

  • There were 27,640 applications to councils in England for help with homelessness in Q1 2015. This is a 2% increase compared to Q1 2014.
  • Only 49% of these applications were accepted by councils, yet the number of acceptances (13,520) has increased by 8% compared to Q1 2014.
  • Homelessness due to the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy accounted for 29% of acceptances, up from 19% in Q1 2014.  
  • Use of temporary accommodation has risen 11% compared to Q1 2014 (64,710 households)
  • People housed in temporary accommodation in another local authority area has increased 30% (16,810 households)

Use our live charts on statutory homelessness to compare data since 2010.