Homeless numbers highlight urgent need to tackle housing crisis

Thursday, 26 March 2015 - 12:05pm

The latest Government statutory homelessness numbers show increases in homelessness due to tenancies coming to an end, as well as the use of temporary accomodation and households being placed in other local authority areas. 

HOMELESS NUMBERS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR URGENT ACTION TO TACKLE HOUSING CRISIS

Government figures published today show that:

  • There were 28,460 applications to councils in England for help with homelessness in Q4 2014. This is a 1% increase compared to Q4 2013 (28,060).
  • Only 48% of these applications were accepted by councils. Although the number of acceptances (13,650) increased by 6% compared to Q4 2013 (12,890).
  • The increase in homelessness due to the end of shorthold tenancies continues to rise, accounting for 30% of all acceptances. This is an increase of 26% compared to Q4 2013.  
  • There has been a 9% increase in use of temporary accommodation by councils to house homeless households (56,940 in Q4 2013 to 61,970 in Q4 2014). 
  • The number of homeless households placed by their council in other local authority areas increased by 31% from 12,190 to 16,000.

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

“With signs of economic recovery, we would expect to see a drop in the number of people approaching their council for help with homelessness. However, the fact that this has not happened points towards a housing market that is still not working for the poorest in our society.

“Nearly a third of all cases of homelessness are now caused by private rented sector tenancies coming to an end. There are signs that this is linked to more landlords being unwilling to rent to those on benefits as well as rising rents.

“This underlines the need for urgent action to address the shortage of homes that are genuinely affordable to those most in need and stronger rights for tenants. We call on the next government to commit to addressing this problem and the long-term investment it requires.”

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Stephen Holland

Stephen served as our Communications Officer until January 2016.