New government must act on housing as homelessness increases

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 - 4:38pm

Government figures published today show the number of households assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness between April and June 2019 has increased by over 11% compared to the same time last year. This amounted to 68,170 households.

The statistics revealed that the number of households being placed in temporary accommodation has increased by 4.5% compared to the previous year. 27.2% of these households have been placed in an area outside of their own local authority. The use of B&B accommodation has also increased.

The data also records outcomes from the new prevention or relief duties. For the 33,800 prevention duties which ended between April to June 2019, over half of them (19,320 or 57.2%) secured accommodation for 6 months or more and were no longer threatened with homelessness.

Helen Mathie, Head of Policy and Communications at Homeless Link, said:

“Today’s figures show us loud and clear why tackling the housing crisis needs to be a priority for the new government. While there is some encouragement from the number of people being supported by the Homelessness Reduction Act, we still find ourselves in the unacceptable situation where even more families and individuals are living in temporary accommodation. On top of this, more people are being placed out of area, because the cost of housing is too high in many parts of the country. These are things which simply have to be addressed.

“The new government has signalled ambitious commitments to end rough sleeping over the course of the next parliament, bringing forward its original target to 2024. This is welcome – but we are not going to achieve that unless there is sufficient accommodation which is truly affordable, stable, and secure. People need homes, and the latest data reveals we are still some way to achieving this.”

Full statistics can be found at:


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Helen Mathie

Helen Mathie

Head of policy and communications

Helen job shares her role with Caroline Bernard, jointly overseeing Homeless Link’s policy, research, information and communications team.