Homelessness Monitor released
Young people and families are set to bear the brunt of rising homelessness, says new Crisis research.
More people are becoming homeless in England as the impacts of cuts to housing benefit start to bite against the backdrop of the continuing economic downturn – with young people and families with children first in the firing line, new research has revealed.
The Homelessness Monitor 1 is a major five-year independent study into the impact of the economic downturn and policy developments on homelessness across the UK. This is the second year of the study to be published by homelessness charity Crisis and undertaken by Heriot-Watt University and the University of York.
This new analysis highlights how homelessness in all its forms continues to rise in England. Reforms to welfare and housing, particularly cuts to housing benefit, are already having an impact and combined with the continuing economic downturn, are making more people vulnerable to homelessness. The report also says there is much worse to come, particularly for young people and families with children.
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: “The coalition is sweeping away the safety nets that have traditionally saved people from the horrors of homelessness. Housing benefit, the duties of local councils and the security and availability of social housing are all being cut back.
“Young people are already bearing a disproportionate burden of the cuts and economic downturn, yet the government seems set to increase the pressure by abolishing housing benefit for under-25s.
“The research is clear – if we carry on like this, rising rates of homelessness will accelerate – a disaster for those directly affected, and bad for us all.”
Today sees the release of a summary report of The Homelessness Monitor looking at Great Britain as a whole with individual reports on England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow.
Lead researcher Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick said: “When we put all the evidence together for the Homelessness Monitor the conclusion was clear: the strain of the economic downturn, combined with radical welfare cuts and growing housing market pressures, means increasing numbers of people are going to become homeless. As the buffers that have traditionally saved people from homelessness are dismantled we expect to see this increase accelerate – particularly with families and younger people who are being hardest hit.”