Less than half of 27,000 English homelessness applications accepted
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Housing association awarded nearly £100,000 to prevent homelessness
Local authorities in England only accepted 46% of the 27,310 homelessness applications they received between 1 January and 31 March this year.
Of those denied housing assistance:
• 27% were found not to be homeless
• 20% were found to be homeless but not in priority need.
• 8% were found to be intentionally homeless and in priority need.
The amount of people presenting themselves as homeless in 2014's quarter 1 was 4% lower than in the corresponding quarter in 2013.
The Department for Communities and Local Government's latest figures paint a grim picture for London, with homelessness in the capital rising for the fourth year running.
In the last year, 29,152 households in the capital approached their local authority for assistance with housing - a 10% increase on last year's figures.
The ending of a private tenancy is now the leading cause of homelessness in London – up 29% on last year.
Responding to the figures, Leslie Morphy, chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis, said: “Today’s figures provide a grim picture of London’s housing crisis. Homelessness in the capital has risen for the fourth year running, with the ending of a private tenancy the leading cause. Yet today’s figures are only part of the story: rough sleeping in London has been rising at an alarming rate, with a massive increase of 75% over the last three years. Behind these numbers are thousands of people struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
“Cuts to housing benefit and a lack of affordable housing continue to take a heavy toll on people’s lives, particularly in London where demand for housing is greatest The government must rethink its damaging cuts to housing benefit. At the same time, we urgently need more affordable homes and greater protections for those who rent.”
The number of Londoners living in temporary accommodation since the government's welfare changes started to be introduced has also risen, up 7,610 from 35,850 in March 2011 to 43,460 in March 2014 (21%).
London Assembly Green Party member Darren Johnson said: “It’s scandalous that so many homeless people are being moved away from their local area, taking children further from their schools and adults from their jobs. Rising rents and welfare cuts have put councils in an impossible position, and homeless people are suffering as a result."