Homelessness predicted to rocket

By Laura Sharman | 10 August 2017

Rough sleeping has been predicted to rocket by 76% in the next 10 years, according to new analysis by homeless charity Crisis.

The research found that at any one time last year, 9,100 people were sleeping rough while more than 37,00 households were living in hostels.

More than 68,00 households were ‘sofa surfing’ while 12,100 were living in squats.

The report found that unless policies were changed, the most acute forms of homelessness are likely to keep rising.

It said overall numbers would increase by more than a quarter in the coming decade and households in unsuitable temporary accommodation are expected to nearly double.

Crisis also found increased prevention work could reduce levels by 34% by 2036.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: ‘Today’s report makes it only too clear that unless we take action as a society the problem is only going to get worse with every year that passes.’ 

Housing spokeswoman at the Local Government Association, Cllr Judith Blake, said: ‘Homelessness is everyone’s business, and councils need the help of health, employment, and housing partners to deliver ambitions to end it. 

‘In particular, councils need to be able to adapt the implementation of some welfare reforms to ensure there are housing options for people on low incomes.

‘There is no substitute for a renaissance in council house building if we’re to truly address the rising homelessness we face as a nation. 

‘For that to happen, government needs to allow councils to borrow to invest in genuinely affordable housing and to keep all of their receipts from Right to Buy sales so that money can be reinvested into delivering genuinely affordable homes.’

Policy and practice officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing, Faye Greaves, added: 'Homelessness has been steadily rising in all its forms since 2010, partly because of the pressures on the housing market but also some of the welfare changes that have come into force over the past few years.'

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Local Government Association Chief executives Housing Homelessness Third sector