One in 25 people homeless in some areas of England


One in 25 people homeless in some areas of England

Dennis Moore

2 December 2017

A recent study carried out by the homeless charity Shelter calculates there are now 268,000 people in England classed as homeless. The figure for the whole of the UK stands at 307,000.

Even these figures are a conservative estimate, with many more going unrecorded. Often described as the hidden face of homelessness, they include those who are “sofa surfing”, having to move from one place to the next.

The number of homeless has risen by four percent since 2016. Legally this includes not just rough sleepers, the visible aspect of homelessness with people sleeping out on the streets, but also single people in hostels, and those in temporary accommodation.

According to Shelter, this would mean that at least one in every 200 people across the population are considered homeless. This involves an estimated 4,100 people sleeping out on the streets, 242,000 in temporary accommodation, and another 21,000 staying in hostels, or being housed temporarily by social services.

London has the highest number of homeless people in the country, and accounts for 31 of the worst hotspots, including the borough of Newham, with one in 25 people being recorded as homeless. However, other areas have been identified across the country including Brighton, with one in 69, and Birmingham, one in 88.

In the last year, the number of homeless people has risen by 13,000. Local authorities, who process homelessness applications, record the reason statutory homeless households have lost their last settled home.

The main cause is the loss of a private tenancy. Three in ten statutory homelessness applications are due to this, and these numbers have soared since cuts to housing benefit were introduced in 2011. The introduction…

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