Is Homelessness on the rise?
Landlord news by: Madalena Penny
New statistics published by the government this week reveal an 18% increase on homelessness from last year. A staggering 4,751 people were seen to be sleeping rough in any one night. However, the figure can only be seen as a rough estimate, reports homeless group Crisis – in fact the real number of vulnerable people sleeping rough on the streets could be much higher. Further analysis suggests the correlation between homelessness and mental health issues, leading to a downward spiral that can lead to social problems, such as addictions. For more information see: this article covering addiction and homelessness by Oliver Clark at Rehab 4 Addiction.
Amid new policies and levies being applied to the private rented sector, including the withdrawal of mortgage interest, and a 3% surcharge on property purchases, the private rented sector is still worth a cool £1.3 trillion. So why is homelessness on the rise? Is any of the money gained by the government’s policies pressed upon private landlords going to help the homeless crisis?
These homeless figures show only the visible aspect of homelessness. Beneath the surface of formal statistics, a staggering 79,000 families live in temporary accommodation, of which 120,000 children are affected. 1100 of these families have been sharing facilities with strangers in Bed and Breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks. However, if the local authority owns the B&B, it is classed as social housing.
A further study by the University of Reading revealed that there are nine million people living in private rented accommodation, and 1.3 million of these are families with children. Last year’s executive summary by Kent Reliance revealed that the private rented sector consisted of 5.5 million households and that 41% of landlords were optimistic about their portfolios. However due to the new government policies that will impact the growth of the private rented sector, this week 20% of NLA members reported they were planning to reduce the number of their properties, which in turn will see a reduction of available housing stock in an already unstable housing market. The results can only exacerbate the sheer amount of homeless people sleeping rough on the streets. Through the money levied by the government on the private rented sector, the question needs to be asked. ‘how much of this is going to help the vulnerable people of our society – those who have nowhere to live’?