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The Homelessness Monitor: England 2016

England 07.04.2016 172 XX

The Homelessness Monitor: England 2016 is the fifth 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

  • Official rough sleeping estimates have continued to rise and have increased by 55% in 2010. The 14% increase in 2014 was the largest since 2011. Rough sleeping in London increased by 37%. This is mostly due to the increase of 175 to 315 in the City of Westminster and the City of London.
  • There were 54,000 'homelessness acceptances' by local authorities in England in 2014/15. This is 14,000 higher than in 2009/10. Administrative changes mean that these official statistics understate the true increase in ‘homelessness expressed demand’ over recent years. Including informal 'homelessness prevention' and 'homelessness relief' activity, as well as statutory homelessness acceptances, there were some 275,000 ‘local authority homelessness case actions’ in 2014/15, a rise of 34% since 2009/10.
  • Regional trends in statutory homelessness have remained highly contrasting, with acceptances in the North of England some 10% lower in 2014/15 than in 2009/10 (the national nadir), while in London the figures are 85% higher than at that time.
  • The increase in statutory homelessness is partly attributable to the rising numbers made homeless from the private rented sector, with cases almost quadrupling from 4,600 to 16,000. Loss of a private tenancy increased from 11% in 2009/10 to 29 per cent in 2014/15. In London, the upward trend was even starker, with the ending of a private tenancy accounting for 39% of all acceptances by 2014/15.
  • Since bottoming out in 2010/11, homeless placements in temporary accommodation have risen sharply, with the overall national total rising by 12% in the year to 30th June 2015; up by 40% since its low point four years earlier. B&B placements rose sharply (23%). 'Out of district' placements continue to rise these mainly involve London boroughs.
  • The continuing shortfall in levels of new house building relative to levels of household formation, in a context where there are substantial numbers of concealed and sharing households, and severe levels of overcrowding in London, is a prime structural contributor to homelessness in England.
  • Two thirds of local authorities in England reported that the 2010-2015 welfare reforms had increased homelessness in their area. Negative effects of welfare reform on homelessness levels were much more widely reported by local authorities in London (93%) than in the North of England (49%).

Reference

Fitzpatrick, S., Pawson, H., Bramley, G., Wilcox, S. & Watts, B. (2016) The Homelessness Monitor: England 2016. London: Crisis.