homeless house

09 Mar 23

Flat-pack furniture giant IKEA has teamed up with campaigning charity Shelter to highlight the issue of homelessness.

The Scandinavian firm, citing Shelter’s figures, claims that 21 per cent of adults in the UK are worried about losing their home with 49 per cent saying if they lost their current home they would struggle to find somewhere else to live. 

The figures also claim that in the past year in order to keep up with their housing costs, 18 per cent of adults in the UK say they have taken on additional work, 17 per cent have skipped meals and a further quarter 25 per cent would consider skipping meals.

IKEA also uses Shelter’s claim that one in every 208 people in England is currently experiencing homelessness “with thousands more likely to lose their homes by the end of the year as a result of the cost of living crisis.” 

Now IKEA has launched ‘Real Life Roomsets’ in four of its big city stores.

The roomsets are described as being “cramped, dangerous, and grotty spaces that an increasing number of people who are experiencing homelessness are forced to experience when living in temporary accommodation.”

A statement from IKEA says that “with a shortage in social housing, some families are finding themselves living in temporary accommodation for years, and are very often asked to move several times with short notice.”

The four roomsets are in London, where Shelter claims one in 58 people are experiencing homelessness; in Manchester (one in 74); Birmingham (one in 80); and Bristol (one in 183). 

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, says: “A grotty hostel or B&B is not a home, but this is the reality for too many families stuck in temporary accommodation. That’s why we’re working with IKEA to show the grim living situations that families who become homeless are having to face – from having no space for children to do homework or play, to having to share beds, to being moved miles away from schools and support networks.

“With rents at an all-time high and no end to the cost of living crisis in sight, we’re desperately worried that more people are going to become homeless this year. 

“The solution to this crisis is simple and it’s staring the government in the face: we must build a new generation of good quality social housing that people can actually afford to live in.”

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