William Eichler 12 September 2019

A household became homeless ‘every four minutes’ last year, figures reveal

A household became homeless ‘every four minutes’ last year, figures reveal image

The new Government figures on homelessness in England have revealed the impact of the housing crisis on young people and families.

The figures reveal that between April 2018 and March 2019 a household became homeless every four minutes in England.

The data also shows that 56,440 young people aged 16 to 24 became homeless or were threatened with homelessness during the same period.

The homelessness charity Shelter, drawing on the official figures, warned that young people are disproportionately affected by homelessness.

They represent 21% of all applicants found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness in the last year, but make up just 14% of the general population.

Just over a fifth of households found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness lost their last settled home due to the ending of a private rented tenancy and 28% were living in a private rented home.

More than a quarter (27%) of applicants owed a homelessness duty are in work.

The countryside charity CPRE also analysed the Government's figures and found that rural communities have experienced a surge in homelessness more than twice the national increase, rising from 9,312 to 17,212 over the past year.

‘During a year where Brexit negotiations have totally dominated the political agenda, catastrophic numbers of people have become homeless,’ said Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter.

‘While the housing crisis is out of the spotlight, families with young children are trapped in grim temporary accommodation like B&Bs and shipping containers, and young people feel the damaging effects of growing up in a housing emergency.

‘Cripplingly expensive private rents, frozen housing benefits, and lengthy waiting lists for social homes are pushing people to the sharp edge of a housing emergency which won’t go away without genuinely affordable homes.

‘The Government must invest in a new generation of social homes – 3 million more in 20 years – if they are to pull hundreds of thousands of people out of homelessness. And in the meantime, they must urgently increase housing benefit so that it covers at least the bottom third of private rents.’

The think tank Reform argues that these new figures show the need for long-term funding not short-term fixes.

‘Short-term thinking and funding has blighted homelessness services,’ said Dr Luke Heselwood, senior Reform researcher.

‘While the £54m increase in funding announced in the Government’s spending round last week is welcome, it will only be a short-term fix to firefight an issue which requires long-term solutions.

‘Longer-term funding for councils is needed, which will allow them to offer people support and advice long before they are at risk of homelessness.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Child and Family Support Worker

Essex County Council
Plus Excellent Benefits
The purpose of this role is to work within frontline teams to support the delivery of effective Children's Social Work. England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Part Time Community Rail Partnership Officer

Essex County Council
£24000 - £26275 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits Package
Please note that this position is being offer on a part time basis, covering 23 hours per week. Working Pattern TBC. England, Essex, Rochford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£19,554 - £21,166
The successful candidate will work across a rota pattern that includes regular evening and weekend working and will be responsible for... Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Business Support Officer - Learning and Early Support

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Duties will include... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Plant and Motor Vehicle Technician - 3 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £26,317
You will carry out vehicle inspections, servicing, maintenance and repairs to vehicles and plants operated by Kirklees Council in... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue