The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ quarterly homeless statistics released today (25 July) show record numbers of households and children are now living in temporary accommodation.
The number of households initially assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness has increased by 5.7 per cent since last quarter - an increase of 11.5 per cent since last year. Households with children owed a relief duty increased 12.1 per cent from last year to 11,250 households.
The number of households living in temporary accommodation has also continued to climb steeply with 104,510 people sleeping in temporary accommodation on 31st March 2023, an increase of 10 per cent since last year, and up four per cent since last quarter. Households living in B&B accommodation were up 37.4 per cent from last year and households with dependent children in B&Bs rose 131.2 per cent from the same date last year.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- 41,950 households were initially assessed as currently homeless, up 10.7 per cent from the same quarter last year. This is the highest number of people recorded as currently homeless in a single quarter since data collection began in 2018.
- 13,670 households were accepted as owed a main homelessness duty, up 20.1 per cent from January to March 2022. This reflects the increase in households with children owed a relief duty this quarter (12.1 per cent) and last quarter (19.6 per cent) compared to the previous year.
- The end of private rented Assured Shorthold Tenancy was the most common reason for households being owed a prevention duty, accounting for 14,530 or 38.3 per cent of households. This is an increase of 2.5 per cent from the same quarter last year.
- The second most common reason for those owed a prevention duty was family or friends no longer willing or able to accommodate, accounting for 9,550 or 25.2 per cent of households owed a prevention duty, up 10.9 per cent from the same quarter last year.
- Other notable changes for households owed a prevention duty include an increase of 66.7 per cent in requirement to leave accommodation provided by the Home Office as asylum support to 600 households, a decrease of 30.6 per cent in end of social rented tenancy to 2,270 households and an increase of 16.6 per cent in end of non-assured shorthold private rented tenancy to 1,830 households.
- The numbers of people who are in-work and experiencing homelessness has continued to increase - 19,500 households seeking assistance were headed by someone working, increasing by 8.9 per cent from the final quarter of last year.
- On 31 March 2023 104,510 people were sleeping in temporary accommodation, an increase of ten per cent since last year, and up four per cent since last quarter.
- 62.1 per cent of households in temporary accommodation included dependent children, with 131,370 dependent children living in temporary accommodation.
- Of the households in temporary accommodation 13,780 were living in B&B accommodation on 31 March, up 37.4 per cent from last year.
- The number of households with dependent children in B&Bs increased by 131.2 per cent from the same date last year to 3,930 households.
- Of the households with children in B&B, 1,840 had been resident for more than the statutory limit of six weeks. This is up 174.6 per cent from 670 on 31 March 2022, and up 14.3 per cent from 1,610 in the previous quarter.
- On 31 March 2023, there were 16.5 households living in temporary accommodation per 1,000 households in London, compared with 2.2 households per 1,000 in the rest of England.
- 29,940 or 28.6 per cent of households in temporary accommodation were in accommodation in a different local authority district. 80.6 per cent of these out of district placements were from London authorities.
You can read the full data set in the DLUHC official statistics.
Rachael Williamson, head of policy and external affairs at CIH, said:
“Behind every one of these numbers is a person, and the mental and physical strain of living in housing insecurity, often without adequate space or basic facilities, cannot be underestimated. The human cost of under investment in housing benefit and a chronic under supply of social house building are laid bare in the rocketing numbers of children being forced to live in temporary accommodation.
"Yesterday we heard from government that they plan to meet their pledge to build one million homes this Parliament, but the plight of people being forced to live in temporary accommodation and the desperate need for social rented homes in this country did not feature. Without significant and urgent action we will continue to see housing waiting lists grow and to spend vast sums subsidising poor quality temporary housing. Urgent support is required to ensure essentials are guaranteed for all, starting with unfreezing the local housing allowance. It’s time for a long-term cross cutting strategy, backed by government investment, which focuses on delivering the social rented homes we so desperately need. Everyone should have access to a decent and affordable home from which to build their lives.”