Thu, 30 Dec 21
The charity Crisis has identified the end of the eviction ban as one of the factors directly leading to homelessness over this Christmas and New Year period.
It claims some 227,000 families and individuals across Britain are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness - this includes people sleeping on the streets, stuck in insecure accommodation like B&Bs, or forced to sleep in cars and sheds because they don’t have a place to call home.
Most of these households are in England, not just because of the larger population, but also because there are higher levels of homelessness than in Scotland and Wales.
Crisis claims 0.86 per cent of all households in England are experiencing homelessness on any given night, compared with 0.69 per cent in Wales and 0.57 per cent in Scotland.
These different rates across the three nations are due to the different housing and homelessness policies in place; for example, Crisis states that in Scotland rates are lower than in England due to factors such as a better supply of social housing and more inclusive access to homelessness services.
Nearly 25,000 families and individuals are living in temporary accommodation such as B&Bs, including 22,600 households across England alone.
In a statement released over the holidays, Crisis claims that during 2021, a cut to universal credit, a freeze to housing benefit and the lifting of the ban on evictions “have pushed more people into homelessness.”
This research comes as Crisis operates its traditional Christmas services in a number of hubs across London for the 50th year.
Chief executive Jon Sparkes says: “No-one should be without a place to call home now or at any time of year. It is utterly devastating that throughout Britain thousands of people are facing a Christmas on the streets, trying to shelter in places like a car or stuck living in one room in a B&B with no proper cooking or washing facilities. It shouldn’t have to be like this.
"For the last 50 years at Crisis at Christmas we’ve opened our doors to people at one of the most difficult times of the year, providing respite from the hardships of homelessness. More importantly, we’ve introduced thousands of people to our year-round support to help them leave homelessness behind for good. We don’t want to have to be here in another 50 years.”
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