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The Homelessness Monitor: England 2011

06.04.2011 1722 XX

The Homelessness Monitor: England 2011 is the first annual report of an independent study, funded by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, of the homelessness impacts of recent economic and policy developments in England.

Key findings

  • This is a concerning time for homelessness in England: the simultaneous weakening of welfare protection and the national ‘housing settlement’, in a context of wider recessionary pressures and growing unemployment, seems likely to have a negative impact on many of those vulnerable to homelessness.
  • In particular, welfare reform – in combination with the economic downturn - seems certain to drive homelessness up in England over the next few years, as it will undermine the safety net that usually provides a ‘buffer’ between a loss of income, or a persistently low income, and homelessness, and will restrict access to the private rented sector for low income households.
  • Statistical analysis indicates that some aspects of ‘visible’ homelessness – including rough sleeping and statutory homelessness – have commenced a very recent upward trajectory.
  • With respect to hidden homelessness – concealed, sharing and overcrowded households - there are longer-term rising trends, starting before the current recession, and reflecting mainly housing affordability and demographic pressures.
  • Looking forward, the next two years may be a crucial time period over which ‘lagged’ impacts of the recession start to materialise, together with at least some of the effects of welfare and housing reform.

Reference 

Fitzpatrick, S., Pawson, H., Bramley, G., Wilcox, S. & Watts, B. (2011) The Homelessness Monitor: England 2011, London: Crisis.