Latest homelessness numbers underline the challenge to keep housing on the agenda in post-Brexit England

Thursday, 30 June 2016 - 3:17pm

We respond to the Government’s latest statutory homelessness statistics.

Government figures published today show that at the end of March 2016 there were 71,540 households living in temporary accommodation, an 11% increase on the same time last year. 9% more households were accepted as being homeless than during the same period in 2015.

By the end of the period, 19,290 households had been placed in temporary accommodation outside own local authority area, 15% more than in March 2015. This figure has crept up steadily over the past five years, from just 7,870 in March 2012.

Meanwhile, the number of households made homeless due to the end of an assured shorthold tenancy has continued to rise, both in quantity (4,650) and proportion (31%).

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

“Among all the extraordinary news this week, today’s homelessness stats feel like a return to business as usual. Given what they tell us, there’s no comfort in that.

“Applications and acceptances have risen, and more families than ever are being shipped out of their local areas, away from their support networks, by local authorities that are under increasing pressure to find suitable options to house them. Yet again, the private rented sector is shown to be a major contributor to the figures – with more people falling out of tenancies and into homelessness, while it offers few solutions to help people out of it.

“And over the next few months another question will become increasingly important: how, as Government redefines itself post-Brexit, can we ensure that homelessness remains on and moves up the agenda no matter how the political landscape changes?”

Compared to Q1 2015, the latest statistics show that in Q1 2016:

  • The number of applications increased 5%
  • The number of acceptances increased 9%
  • The rate of acceptance was 51%, up two percentage points
  • Homelessness due to the loss of an assured shorthold tenancy remained the biggest cause of homelessness at 31%
  • Use of temporary accommodation rose by 11%
  • Homeless households placed in other LA areas increased 15%

Explore statutory homelessness stats since 2010 in our interactive charts or download the Q1 data from .gov.uk.