National Homelessness News
One in five private renting families fear they could become ‘Covid homeless’
Nearly one in five private renting parents are concerned their families will become homeless as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, according to YouGov research carried out for the homeless charity Shelter. Parents living in privately rented homes are almost twice as likely to be worried about homelessness than parents living in secure social homes (9%). Shelter’s research suggests this fear of homelessness may not be unfounded, with 550,000 private renting parents taking on debt to help pay their rent since lockdown.
Councils are flouting the law by ‘secretly’ relocating homeless people to other boroughs.
An investigation by ITV has uncovered clear evidence that a number of English councils are failing to provide housing for some homeless people within their borough. Where it is deemed unavoidable and a homeless person is moved to a new area, local authorities are legally supposed to notify the other council so that social, medical and educational support can be put in place. According to ITV’s research, more than 60 councils are failing to do this.
Coronavirus crisis having catastrophic effect on nutrition for UK’s poorest.
A report by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggests that the coronavirus pandemic has led to large numbers of people skipping meals and going hungry, compromising their nutritional health. One in ten people say they have been forced to use food banks.
The snapshot study presents a vivid picture of how people living in poverty have struggled to feed themselves adequately during lockdown.
Shelter says extension of the eviction ban is ‘vital stay of execution’
The homeless charity Shelter has responded positively to the announcement by Housing Minister Robert Jenrick that evictions will continue to be banned until August, but highlights that it is ‘only a stop-gap’
Chief Executive of Shelter, Polly Neate said: “The ban hasn’t stopped people who’ve lost their jobs during this pandemic from racking up rent arrears. Even if they have a plan to pay them back, these debts will throw struggling renters straight back into the firing line of an automatic eviction as soon as the ban does lift.
Centrepoint calls on the government to raise the Universal Credit standard allowance for under-25’s who live independently.
Currently, due to their age, under-25’s receive a lower rate of Universal Credit and Local Housing Allowance than others even if they are living independently and have the similar outgoings. As the charity Centrepoint explains, this young age group is the most likely to face job losses during the Covid-19 crisis. It says a reduced level of Universal Credit can spell disaster for young people living, particularly those who are unable to return to the family home.
The Covid-19 crisis has emptied the streets of rough sleepers , but what happens next ?
For all its horrors there has been one positive come from the Covid-19 crisis. It has forced the government to take action on street homelessness. As the Guardian newspaper reports, it is now crucial for the government to lock in the gains made and honour its long term commitment to end rough sleeping.
Guardian journalists Simon Hattenstone and Danny Lavelle won the Features Journalism award for The Empty Doorway at the British Journalism Awards. In the article – Investigating Britain’s homelessness crisis, they explain why their work has felt so meaningful, and about the heartening response from readers.
A third of homeless people who are sofa-surfing in the UK have been doing so for more than six months, according to research from Crisis. Figures from the charity estimate there are 71,400 sofa-surfers across the country – making it the largest form of homelessness. The analysis comes amid a deepening national crisis, with the number of households considered newly homeless or at risk of becoming so rising by 11.4% across England in the past year alone, according to government data.
The Mirror covers the story that an investigation by the Liberal Democrats has found just 21 councils – fewer than 1 in 10 – have made use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders in the past five years. This means that Almost 13,000 houses have been empty for 10 years and 127,000 kids face homelessness in 2020. Plus, a staggering 46,964 homes have been empty for 5 years or more and 313,792 have been empty for more than six months according to an investigation by the Liberal Democrats.
The BBC reports that homelessness is on the rise in England – 280,000 people are homeless. This figure is up 23,000 since 2016, according to the charity Shelter. Last year, at least 726 homeless people died in England and Wales. Two in three British people want to help when they see a homeless person, but aren’t always sure how to, research by charity Crisis shows.
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