Homelessness statistics foreshadow troubling rise in evictions
Blog posted by: Rob Cartridge, Thursday, 22 April 2021.
On 22 April, the Government released its homelessness and temporary accommodation data for October to December 2020, which reveals a significant level of evictions despite Government measures to protect private renters during Covid-19 that should have put a pause on this practice.
Key statistics include:
- On 31 December 2020 the number of households in temporary accommodation was 95,370, up 8.0% from 88,310 on 31 December 2019. This increase is driven by single adult households, up 45.0% to 28,570, while households with children decreased 4.6% to 59,670.
- 62,250 households were initially assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness and owed a statutory homelessness duty, down 9.2% from October to December 2019
- 28,270 households were assessed as being threatened with homelessness, and therefore owed a prevention duty, down 18.5% from the same quarter last year. 1,920, or 6.8% of prevention duties were owed because the household had been issued with a section 21 notice. The number of prevention duties owed due to the issue of a section 21 notice has decreased 49.9% from 3,830 households in October to December 2019
Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, comments:
“It is shocking that large numbers of people continued to be threatened with homelessness due to private landlords ending a tenancy, despite measures put in place to protect renters during the pandemic. This should act as a warning that we can expect a further spike in people threatened with or becoming homeless when restrictions on bailiff enforced evictions end on 31 May – just as Everyone In is expected to end in June. Once again, these figures shine a light on an issue that urgently needs addressing.
“The high number of people living in temporary accommodation is, ironically, both positive and gives cause for concern. While it reflects the commendable efforts of Everyone In to protect people sleeping rough during the pandemic, with the potential threat of a third wave later this year, it also highlights the acute need for suitable, sustainable accommodation solutions and a support offer for people with no recourse to public funds. The Next Steps Accommodation Programme has gone some way to addressing the former, moving people in to longer term housing and away from homelessness, but demand still far outstrips supply.
“The longer-term strategic element continues to be missing from the homelessness response. The Government must prioritise sustainable funding for services and a focus on prevention that addresses the systemic causes of homelessness – including the welfare system and lack of truly affordable housing – if we are to end homelessness for good.”
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