Section: Homelessness & Rough Sleeping

Homelessness numbers 'a national disgrace' says CIH

Posted 22.03.18
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH): Article link

Responding to the latest homelessness statistics for England, CIH policy and practice officer Faye Greaves said:

"The fact that so many people are homeless in England today is quite simply a national disgrace.

"Our national housing crisis combined with the welfare changes in recent years have created a toxic mix.

"The Homelessness Reduction Act, which comes into force in less than two weeks, has the potential to help councils do more to tackle homelessness - but only if the government makes sure they have enough resources to put it into practice effectively."

Notes

Figures released (22.03.18) by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show that:

  • Between 1 October and 31 December 2017 local authorities accepted 13,640 households as being statutorily homeless, down 11% from 15,280 on the previous quarter and down 5% from 14,420 on the same quarter of 2016. The figure is up 45% from a low of 9,430 in Q4 2009.
  • On 31 December 2017 the number of households in temporary accommodation was 78,930, up 4% from 75,740 on 31 December 2016, and up 64% on the low of 48,010 on 31 December 2010.
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    Council places homeless woman in 'squalid' temporary accommodation miles away from vital support

    Posted 14.03.18
    Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman: Article link

    An older woman was left in temporary accommodation that was 'at best shabby, dirty and in disrepair', miles away from her GP and social networks because Rother District Council had no temporary accommodation across the whole borough, a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found.

    The woman was placed in the hotel accommodation in a neighbouring borough, 14 miles away from her former home and GP, after her landlord sought repossession of her privately-rented home.

    During her time living in the hotel room, the Ombudsman's investigation heard the woman made regular complaints about the poor state of the accommodation, but the Council never told her of her right to appeal its suitability. Nor did it treat her complaints as an appeal.

    The Ombudsman also found fault with the Council for not treating her complaint about it cancelling her Housing Benefit in error as an appeal. It left her to foot a four-figure bill - when it decided on very little evidence she had swapped rooms with her adult son.

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    Record number of rough sleeper alerts sent in 24-hour period

    Posted 01.03.18
    Homeless Link: Article link

    Members of the public sent over 3,600 alerts to StreetLink - a website, mobile app and phone line that connects people sleeping rough in England and Wales to local services - over the 24-hour period from the morning of Monday 26 to Tuesday 27 February, as the country continues to experience snow and sub-zero temperatures.

    StreetLink typically sees its use peak during periods of extreme weather, but this recent 24-hour period recorded the highest number of rough sleeper alerts since the launch of StreetLink in December 2012.

    Of the 3,600 alerts received, 2,032 were sent about people sleeping rough in London.

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    Quick Links

    Updated 26.03.18

  • Homeless Link: Support for single homeless people in England - Annual Review 2017.
  • GOV.UK: Councils across the country will receive a share of over £215 million from 2019 to prevent homelessness - this includes a £15 million fund for London councils to support their work together to prevent and reduce homelessness.
  • Centre for Housing Policy: Women's Homelessness in Europe Network (WHEN) launches new website - the link provides access to it.

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    Reporting on March 2018

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