On 28/04/22, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities released the Statutory Homelessness statistics for October to December 2021. Key statistics from the release are below:
- 64,890 households were owed a homelessness duty (meaning they were judged to be homeless or threatened with homelessness) by their local authority between October and December 2021, down 6% from the previous quarter.
- Despite this, there has been a 17% increase in those at risk of homelessness as a result of no-fault evictions from the private rented sector (5,260 households) when compared to the previous quarter and a 168% increase when compared with the same period last year when the evictions pause was still in place.
- The number of households owed a homeless duty due to rent arrears in the private rented sector has seen a 40% increase since the same period last year
- The ending of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy was the leading cause for those at risk of homelessness (11,380 households).
Responding to the statistics, Rick Henderson, CEO at Homeless Link, the national membership charity for frontline homelessness organisations in England, said:
“The huge rise in evictions from the private rented sector is very worrying, especially as the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis are already being felt in households across the country and will likely lead to a further rise in the coming months. Local authorities and homeless services will do everything they can to prevent or end people’s homelessness, but a huge shortage of affordable accommodation makes this very difficult.
“Despite the Government committing to ending no fault evictions three years ago, tens of thousands of people a year continue to be evicted through Section 21 notices. The upcoming Renters Reform Bill must urgently address this, giving tenants more security in the turbulent months ahead, while implementing measures to make rents more affordable.
“At the same time, inflation hit 7% in March, but the Government raised welfare benefits by just 3.1%. Clearly there is an imbalance there, before even taking into account that the welfare system was underfunded to begin with. Raising welfare payments in line with inflation will be critical to helping people not in full-time work to stay afloat.”