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MPs urged to back change in law as homelessness rises by 9%

New government figures released today show that 14,780 households were accepted as homeless in the first three months of 2016 - a rise of 9% compared to the year before. The ending of a private tenancy remained the leading cause of homelessness, rising to 31% compared to 29% last year (41% in London).

At the same time, 71, 540 households were in temporary accommodation, an increase of 11% compared to last year. [see notes]

Crisis Chief Executive Jon Sparkes said: “Homelessness has risen for the sixth year running, with a 9% jump in the number of households accepted as homeless and an 11% rise in the number of households in temporary accommodation. 

“The grim reality is that more and more people are finding themselves in desperate circumstances, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and fearing for their future.

“We are also concerned by the fall in the number of people prevented from becoming homeless in the first place. These trends should be going in the opposite direction. Prevention is always better than cure, and for homeless people this is especially so.

“Prevention has already been shown to work in Wales, where it has dramatically reduced the need for people to be re-housed. According to the latest figures, where councils intervened to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place, they were successful in two thirds of cases. Alongside that, we’ve seen a drop of two thirds in the number of people formally accepted as homeless. 

“There is now a wealth of evidence, opinion and support for a change in the law on homelessness in England, and we urge MPs from all parties to get behind the Homelessness Reduction Bill proposed by Bob Blackman MP. We must seize this historic opportunity.”

ENDS

For further information or for spokesperson interviews call 020 7426 3853 or email thomas.phillips@crisis.org.uk For out of hours media enquiries please call: 07973 372587

Notes to editors 

Figures taken from department for Communities and Local Government Statutory homelessness and prevention and relief live tables: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/533113/Statutory_Homelessness_and_Prevention_and_Relief_Live_Tables_2016_Q1.xls

Q1 2016 statutory homelessness figures 

  • 14,780 households were accepted as homeless in Q1 2016. This has increased by 9% compared to Q1 the year before
  • The proportion of households accepted as homelessness due to the ending of a private tenancy is 31% (increased from 29% of Q1 in 2015) – in London it is 41%
  • 71,540 households were in temporary accommodation. This has increased by 11% on Q1 2015


2015/16 homelessness prevention and relief 

  • There were 212,620 cases of prevention and relief in 2015/16 – a decrease of 4% on the year before
  • 97% were prevention cases and 3% were relief

 Looking at homelessness overall for 2015/16:

  • 57,750 households were accepted as homeless and in priority need in 2015/16 – this is the sixth consecutive year the figure has risen