Homelessness rates in England hit five-year high | Inquirer Business

Homelessness rates in England hit five-year high

/ 09:28 AM July 26, 2023

LONDON  – The number of families and individuals facing homelessness in England is at its highest since 2018, data showed on Tuesday, sparking calls for the government to reform renting laws faster and build more affordable housing.

Britain is in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, with high rates of inflation leaving people struggling to pay for essentials and meet rapidly rising rental prices.

Some 79,840 households, which can be comprised of families or single people, were owed help from local authorities to address homelessness or the risk of homelessness, official government data for January to March showed.


Of those just over half were already homeless and 18 percent were from London.


Meanwhile, 104,510 households were in temporary accommodation provided to address homelessness, up 10 percent on a year earlier and the highest since records for the figure began in 1998.

A key driver of the increase was the termination of assured shorthold tenancies, a type of fixed-term contract, the government said.

Such contracts are common in Britain and allow landlords to evict tenants at the end of the contract period without a reason and with only two months’ notice – sometimes called “no-fault evictions”.

Landlords were evicting tenants to rent to others, sell the property or because of overdue rents, the government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said.

Some rental prices have risen 123 percent compared to a year earlier, driving up rates of rental arrears, it continued.

Housing charity Shelter called on the government to build more affordable, social housing to ease the pressure on the private sector.


“No-fault evictions are fueling homelessness and throwing thousands of families’ lives into turmoil,” Shelter’s CEO Polly Neate said, calling for decisive action.

Neate urged the government to pass its planned Renters Reform Bill, which seeks to abolish no-fault evictions, into law at the earliest opportunity.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday reiterated promises to boost homebuilding by the next election.

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“We are determined to prevent homelessness before it occurs,” a DLUHC spokesperson said.

TAGS: Britain, cost of living, homelessness, Inflation

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