Rise in homelessness fuelled by lack of affordable accommodation

Homeless Link responds to Government homelessness statistics.

The number of people accepted by councils as being homeless has increased by 14% in 2011 according to Government figures released today.

Analysis of the statutory homelessness figures by Homeless Link, the umbrella body for homelessness charities, indicates that:

  • The number of households accepted as homeless by councils in England rose by 14% in 2011, when compared with 2010.
  • The number of households accepted as homeless by councils in the last three months of 2011 was 18% higher than the same period of 2010.
  • There has been a 39% increase (from 2010 – 11) in the number of households becoming homeless because of an end to their shorthold tenancy.
  • In 2011, almost one in five households accepted as homeless by councils became homeless because of an end to their short hold tenancy. In 2009, this figure stood at one in ten.   
  • Half of all applications for help with homelessness were rejected by councils.

Responding to the news, Matt Harrison, Interim Chief Executive of Homeless Link said:

“For four consecutive quarters, the number of people finding themselves without a home has risen as a result of hard economic times. 

“More individuals are also finding themselves homeless because they can’t afford private sector rents or landlords will not rent to them.

“Our own members are reporting that, because of a lack of suitable accommodation, they are finding it harder to get clients out of hostels and into a home. This means that they are less able to help new homeless people. 

“We believe a lack of affordable accommodation, rent inflation and housing benefit restrictions are fuelling homelessness and making it more difficult to help people once they become homeless. 

“The private rental sector is key to solving homelessness but we need to ensure that this is affordable and accessible to everyone.”

More analysis

  • There was a 10.3% increase in the number of applications to councils for help with homelessness between 2010 (97,210 applications) and 2011 (107,240 applications)
  • There were 48,510 acceptances in the 2011 calendar year, up 14 per cent from 42,390 acceptances in 2010.
  • 12,830 applicants were accepted as owed a main homelessness duty between 1 October and 31 December 2011, 18 per cent higher than during the same quarter of 2010.
  • In 2011, 17.6% of households accepted as homeless became homeless because of an end to a assured short hold tenancy (8540, of 48510 acceptances). In 2009, 10.9% of households accepted as homeless became homeless because of an end to a assured short hold tenancy (4580, of 41,780 applications accepted).