NEW GOVERNMENT FIGURES released on 28 July show 74,230 households in England became homeless or were at imminent risk of becoming homeless between January and March 2022 – including 25,610 families with children. This represents an 11 per cent rise in three months, and a five per cent rise on the same period last year.

Since March, household incomes have been further battered by the cost of living crisis. Shelter is calling for the government to intervene to prevent a steep rise in homelessness as renters struggle with the highest private rents on record alongside rocketing household bills.

The government’s latest homelessness data also revealed:

  • Despite being in full-time work, 10,560 households were found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness. This is the highest number of people in full-time work recorded as homeless since this government started recording the data in 2018.

  • One in four (25 per cent) households were found to be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless because of the loss of a private tenancy (18,210 households). This has increased by 94 per cent in a year and is the second leading trigger of homelessness in England.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Too many people are losing the battle to keep a roof over their heads – struggling to pay rent and put food in their mouths. With homelessness on the rise, whoever becomes the next Prime Minister needs to get a grip on this crisis, and fast.

“The housing emergency was already tipping thousands of people into homelessness before the cost of living crisis took hold. Now record-high rents, and crippling food and fuel bills risk sending even more people over the edge – including people who are working every hour they can. Our frontline services hear from families every day who’ve got nothing left to cut back on.

“High housing costs are a major part of the cost of living crisis, but they are being ignored. To pull struggling renters back from the brink of homelessness, the new Prime Minister must unfreeze housing benefit so people can afford their rent. But to end homelessness for good, building decent social homes with rents pegged to local incomes is the only answer.”

* Anyone who is facing homelessness can get free and expert advice from Shelter here.

* Source: Shelter