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Councils back change in law to tackle rising homelessness

 
February 4th 2016
 

A recent report published by the homeless charity Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation discovered that nine out of 10 English councils found it difficult to help homeless single people. ‘The Homelessness Monitor: England’ is an annual independent study that analyses the impact of economic and policy developments on homelessness.

The report found that a majority of councils across England - faced with a sharp rise in the number of single homeless people – are backing a change in the housing law to expand the criteria of homeless prevention, adopting a similar approach to that practiced in Wales, to include anyone faced with the loss of their home and not just those deemed to be high priority such as families with children.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “It’s a critical time for homelessness in England. Councils up and down the country are struggling to help single homeless people and fear that recent welfare reforms are likely to make the problem worse. On top of the desperate human tragedy, this will be incredibly expensive for the public purse as local services are forced to pick up the pieces.”

A shortage in secure rental premises is seen as one of the key factors underpinning the problem, according to the report, after the number of households which became homeless after a private tenancy ended, rose to 16,000 in 2014, four times the rate in 2010.

Julia Unwin, chief executive of the JRF said: “These figures show that the housing crisis cannot be solved unless much more is done to improve the number of safe, secure rented tenancies. Local Authorities and housing providers must work closely with central government to increase the number of homes available across all tenures.”

With a 12 per cent increase in the number of people placed in temporary accommodation last year, the report warns of an unprecedented housing crisis due to a combination of housing and welfare changes that could leave social and private housing out of reach for thousands of the country's poorest people,

Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, lead author, warned: “The majority agree that we need a change in the law to expand homelessness prevention, and such a move could represent a major step forwards. Nevertheless, without action to ease access to housing for those supported by benefits, it’s hard to see how councils will cope if homelessness continues to rise.”

Above all the report urges the government to act swiftly and comprehensively to provide greater access to secure affordable housing, especially in the rental sector, and to change the law so that single people are not pushed towards homelessness and the informal sector.

Beside the obvious human tragedy, the negative social impact together with the compound financial consequences of homelessness pose a very real threat to the future of both our communities and the economy.

 
 
 

 

Contents

New arrivals hit the streets

Soup Run Forum

Web only: Emergency Islington shelter remains open during sub-zero temperatures

Chairman of the board

Rest in peace - in memory of lost friends

Prince poses

Starter pack boost

Wearing a jacket to beg?

Teens found guilty of killing Ralph Millward

The Passage withdraws service "as a last resort"

New learning centre for Glasgow

iHobo game causes controversy

Auckland extends ban on rough sleepers

Homeless interrogation

Affordable housing development opens in Edinburgh

Who decides?

Credit unions

New counts are optional

Nobby on stage

I will never forget you, my people

London homeless services in limbo over ?Ǭ£3.28m cuts

Disused night shelter re-opened for winter months

Coventry Cyrenians forced to cut services

London hub success for new rough sleepers

Crisis Skylight in Birmingham - a year on

Residents look ahead to staff upheaval

Midland Heart report

Labour call for hefty council tax levy on empty homes

Stik pic for the American Church

Lottery grant means new opportunities

Mungo?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s launches women?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s campaign

Homeless people forced into slavery

Homeless couple marry in Australia

Number of homeless in Southend underestimated

Basic banking for all

NSNO expands into west London

Scottish homeless applications drop by 19 per cent

Miami cannibal

Invisible People film UK homeless

The demilitarised zone in North America’s drug war

2012 - the year of the right to permanent accommodation in Scotland?

Crisis at Christmas

The Pavement is recruiting

Rough sleeper donates $250 to charity

Food voucher scheme scrapped

Commemorating friends and companions

Human rights for all

First person: Gemskii on regaining control of her life

The shades come off

Upfront: spikes

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Opinion: All up in smoke?

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The Pied Piper of Housing

March for the Homeless

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The vulnerability ruling

The Queen’s speech

Criminalising homelessness

116-bed hostel for young homeless to close in Southwark

Sponsor a bed and rebuild a life

Hipsters neutralise anti-homeless spikes

What the Brexit will happen now?

Anti-homelessness protesters threatened with eviction, jail by Manchester city council

Showing our impact

Rebirth

The birth of the North Gower Action Group

A pianist, an artist, a dog called George and a new homeless app

Living water

Midwinter blues?

Councils back change in law to tackle rising homelessness

Having problems with your JSA?

Mayoral hustings on homelessness

Skippering

A major step in reducing homelessness?

Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

Charity begins at home?

Legal aid charade

Surviving the streets – by those who've done it

Stop the scandal

Glasgow homeless services at risk

 

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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484