NEW FIGURES ON THE ESTIMATED NUMBER of homeless people who died in England and Wales in 2021 were released on 23 November by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures show:

  • In 2021, an estimated 741 homeless people died in England and Wales – 54 per cent higher than when records began in 2013. This equates to two people dying every day.

  • The average age at death was 45 for men and 43 for women. This is more than 30 years lower than the average age at death of the general population.

  • The regions with the highest number of estimated homeless deaths were London (154), the North West (114) and South East (90).

Commenting on the new figures, Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “A freezing doorway, a bed in an emergency hostel, or a flimsy tent are no substitute for a home. It is utterly awful and unacceptable that two people die every day without any where safe to live – and this number is rising.

“Our frontline services are seeing more people who’ve run out of options, are facing homelessness, and the very real possibility of sleeping rough. This is going to be one of the toughest winters yet as so many people battle rising rents while housing benefit stays frozen.

“The government promised to end rough sleeping, but things are getting worse not better. The government must immediately unfreeze and increase housing benefit to protect people from the ravages of homelessness this winter, and to keep people off the streets for good it has to invest in building good quality, supported social homes.”

The number of homeless people who died in England and Wales is the estimated number of homeless people who died whilst rough sleeping or living in emergency accommodation, such as shelters and hostels, at or around the time of death.

* See Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales: 2021 registrations here.

* Source: Shelter