Homelessness Reduction Act should change 'familiar story' of homelessness data

Wednesday, 27 June 2018 - 2:37pm

Homeless Link responds to the Government’s homelessness statistics for Q1 (January to March) 2018.

young man wearing a rucksack

There were 79,880 households living in temporary accommodation at the end of March 2018, up 3% on a year earlier, according to the statutory homelessness data released on 27 June by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Other key statistics include:

  • The number of households accepted as homeless by local authorities in Q1 was 13,740, which is 1% higher than during the same quarter last year, and equivalent to 52% of the total applications. Of these, 2,920 were young people aged 16-24.
  • Of the 79,880 households in temporary accommodation:
    • 61,190 included dependent children and/or a pregnant woman
    • 22,020 or 28% are living outside of their local area
    • 11,400 (14%) were in housing with shared facilities e.g. bed and breakfasts and hostels.
  • The main cause of homelessness was the end of an assured shorthold tenancy, accounting for 25% of cases. However, this has fallen from a peak of 32% in 2016, with other causes including family or friends no longer able to accommodate increasing slightly.
  • Local authorities acted to prevent and relieve homelessness for 56,090 households in Q1, down 1% on the same quarter in 2017.

Homeless Link's Chief Executive, Rick Henderson, commented:

“Today’s new data tells a familiar story; a growing number of individuals and families continue to become homeless, with more joining those already living in often unsuitable, temporary accommodation. However, I hope there is light on the horizon as the Homelessness Reduction Act introduces an emphasis on stopping homelessness before it begins, and taking a more person-centred approach to supporting vulnerable people.

“To effectively end homelessness for good we need to tackle the structural causes of homelessness, including poverty, the supply and affordability of housing, and the growing gap between benefit levels and rents. Yesterday’s government announcement confirming an investment boost for affordable homes and a new generation of council housing is a welcome start. Now we need a national, cross-departmental strategy that ensures homelessness is consigned to the history books.”

The Government's statistics for Statutory homelessness and homelessness prevention and relief, England: January to March 2018 can be found here.

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Louise Weaver

Communications manager

Louise is the communications manager at Homeless Link. Louise is currently on maternity leave. 

Telephone: 0207 840 4427
Email: louise.weaver@homelesslink.org.uk