Not all people facing homelessness face the same challenges. And some people facing homelessness are not as visible as others.
Below are some descriptions of different types of homelessness and some of the legal framework.
Local authorities have a duty to find a home for families or individuals approaching them who fit a ‘priority need’ criteria. These households are initially offered temporary housing such as private sector housing, nightly paid accommodation or B&Bs. This should be a pre cursor to finding a more permanent solution.
‘Priority need’ is defined as households including those with dependent children, pregnant women, those threatened with homelessness due to an emergency e.g. a flood, and those who are vulnerable.
Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
Under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, councils have a duty to prevent or relieve the homelessness of all eligible people threatened with homelessness within 56 days.
Individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals or couples without dependent children who are homeless but don’t meet ‘priority need’ criteria do not qualify for accommodation from their local authority. Many stay in short-term accommodation, such as hostels or supported accommodation provided by homelessness charities, sleep rough or remain hidden.
This is the most visible form of homelessness and includes sleeping anywhere outside or in buildings not designed for human habitation such as stairwells, stations or cars.
Rough sleeping accounts for less than 1% homelessness
Many people who become homeless aren’t counted in official figures. They may not ask for, or be entitled to, help with housing, and so won’t receive the support they need. Many “sofa surf” with family and friends or sleep out of sight in hostels, squats, public transport or other insecure and unsuitable accommodation.
More about homelessness
What causes homelessness?
The causes of homelessness are as varied as the people the people who experience it. On this page we discuss some of the more common groups of structural and personal factors.
What is the impact of homelessness?
Homelessness can lead to isolation, poor physical and mental health. Homelessness can also lead to substance abuse and create barriers to accessing healthcare.
What are the solutions to homelessness?
The pandemic showed us how homelessness can be tackled. Homelessness is not inevitable. This page shows the steps that should be taken to end homelessness for good.
How many people are homeless?
The answer to this question is not straight forwards. ,This page will guide you through the different ways of counting homelessness and link to key sources.
How can I help someone facing homelessness?
This page gives some practical advice on where you can get help if you, or someone you know is facing homelessness
How do I help someone sleeping rough?
This page explains how you can help someone who is sleeping rough and connect them to local services.
How can I help end homelessness?
Everyone has the right to a place to call home. If you want to help achieve this goal this page suggests how you can help.