National Homelessness News
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.
The metro covers the story of Paul, who found himself homeless after his personal circumstances changed. An outreach worker from the charity St Mungos offered support and the article covers the developments of what happened to Paul.
The Prime Minister has put tackling homelessness and rough sleeping firmly at the heart of the government’s agenda by announcing over £260 million for local homelessness services. Over 300 councils across England will receive a share of the funding to support homeless people in their areas.
The number of children set to be homeless this Christmas is the highest in 12 years, with 135,000 youngsters currently without a home or living in temporary accommodation, new figures show.
An analysis of data by charity Shelter shows a child currently becomes homeless every eight minutes, meaning 4,026 children are set to lose their homes between the beginning of December and Christmas day.
HSBC are offering bank accounts to people who are homeless. Banks typically require photo ID, as well as proof of address, to open an account but with the new HSBC service, the charity’s address can be used instead. Following a successful pilot in Liverpool, the service is now live in 31 branches in major UK cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester. More locations will be added in the new year. More than 80 accounts were opened during the pilot, one of whom belonged to a Liverpool man who had been homeless for 12 years. Opening a bank account meant he could claim benefits for the first time in over a decade and has now been put on the housing list.
Depaul UK has more than 30 Nightstop projects across the UK, from Glasgow to Guernsey, funded in part by the People’s Postcode Lottery. It offers same-night emergency accommodation for 16- to 25-year-olds. In a survey last year, Depaul found that 55 per cent of young people who become homeless first leave stable accommodation due to a relationship breakdown. Almost 60 per cent became homeless when they were children.