03 Mar 23

The Local Government Association, which comprises 331 of the 333 councils in England and all 22 Welsh unitary councils, is calling on the government to ban Section 21 evictions immediately.

Responding to the latest homelessness and rough sleeping statistics David Renard, the LGA’s housing spokesperson, says: “Councils work incredibly hard to prevent the tragedy of homelessness from happening, as well as supporting those who find themselves affected and are very concerned at today’s statistics, which are from before the worst of the cost of living crisis hit families.

“With evictions in the private rented sector continuing to rise, it is crucial that government urgently implements renters reform legislation to put a stop to ‘no fault’ evictions, and it is imperative that Local Housing Allowance rates are reviewed to ensure that at least a third of the market is affordable for people claiming housing related benefits.

“The building of affordable homes must also be prioritised and councils should be given the powers and resources to build 100,000 social homes a year to address the national shortage of affordable housing.

“If the government doesn’t urgently develop a cross departmental homelessness prevention strategy in response, we can expect to see these numbers continue to rise.”

The government’s new snapshot figures on a given night in autumn 2022 show that 3,069 people were estimated to be sleeping rough, a 26 per cent annual increase in the number of people sleeping rough in England.

The number of people sleeping rough in England is 74 per cent higher than in 2010 when the data started being collected and this comes despite the introduction of the Everyone In scheme during the pandemic. 

The government has also released new statutory homelessness figures, which show the number of households who approached their local council between July and September 2022 and were found to be homeless or at risk of homelessness within the next eight weeks. 

Some 72,320 households in England became homeless or were at imminent risk of becoming homeless– a four per cent annual rise on the same period last year.  In the same period, 25,570 families with children faced homelessness – an eight per cent annual rise on the same period last year. 

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