Homelessness crisis looms as councils struggle with demand

Homelessness crisis looms as councils struggle with demand

0:03 AM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago 55

Text Size

Councils across England are struggling with a surge in demand from households facing homelessness with nearly a quarter of a million households looking for a home, one organisation reveals.

The findings from Crisis are part of its annual ‘state of the nation’ survey and it found that the equivalent of 1 in 100 households are grappling with homelessness.

The trend is pushing thousands into temporary living arrangements like B&Bs and hostels, as local authorities struggle to secure long-term housing solutions.

The research was carried out by Heriot-Watt University which found that the factors driving homelessness levels up include rising living costs and rents.

‘Temporary accommodation should be a short-term emergency measure’

Matt Downie, the chief executive at Crisis, said “The homelessness system is at breaking point. Temporary accommodation should be a short-term emergency measure yet, as the report shows, it is increasingly becoming the default solution for many councils.

“This is leaving thousands of people living out their lives in a permanent state of limbo, enduring cramped, unsuitable conditions – with a fifth of households in temporary accommodation stuck there for over five years.”

He added: “It comes as no surprise that councils are reporting that they are running out of temporary accommodation.”

85% of councils in England are witnessing a surge in homelessness

The survey found that 85% of councils in England are witnessing a surge in homelessness cases, marking the highest proportion since the survey began.

The combination of a housing benefit freeze, a dwindling supply of social housing and a scarcity of affordable private accommodation is creating a challenge for local authorities.

Research shows that 88% of councils are dealing with more requests for help from tenants being evicted from the private rented sector (PRS).

And 93% of councils are predicting further increases in the coming year.

‘We need to provide security to low-income households’

Mr Downie said: “For too long the emphasis has been on managing homelessness, not building the social homes we need to provide security to low-income households.

“The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear.

“The Westminster government must address the chronic lack of social housing and increase housing benefit, so it covers the true cost of rents.

“We cannot allow this situation to escalate further and consign more lives to the misery of homelessness.”

Growing competition for a dwindling supply of homes to rent

The report also reveals that rising rents in the PRS and growing competition for a dwindling supply of homes to rent is leading 97% of councils struggling to source suitable private rentals over the past year.

As access to social housing also dwindles, councils are increasingly turning to the PRS to house low-income households, but the challenges are becoming insurmountable.

And as councils exhaust their options for sustainable long-term housing solutions, they are resorting to temporary accommodations at an unprecedented rate.

Crisis says that the number of households living in such arrangements has reached a record high.

However, it appears that this approach is nearing a breaking point, with councils expressing concerns about their diminishing capacity to secure more temporary accommodation.

Share This Article


Bristol Landlord

0:53 AM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

So the Govt sells off social housing, builds hardly any new ones, applies strict Planning restrictions on new builds, encourages mass immigration, conducts a War on Landlords to drive them out of business and to cap it all, the BoE drastically increases interest rates, and this results in a massive demand for and at same time a shortage of housing?
Well, I’m amazed, how could anyone have possibly predicted such a housing crisis?

dismayed landlord

10:40 AM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

Oh dear- penny is dropping. Time for Polly to put the kettle on and start discussing how we can all work together. Tragically most of us have already left or are leaving. Whoops!!

Richard Holder

10:41 AM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

the Govt need to immediately reverse the sec 24 regulations which should increase confidence in the PRS. Some of the landlords who moved over to Short term holiday lets may come back into the long term market. Reduce the SDLT for the PRS to encourage investment. Un freeze LHA so benefit tenants won't have such a shortfall in make up rent.
Landlords need to be seen as a solution to the problem not vilified by all and sundry and used as cash cow for the Govt.

Ian Narbeth

11:16 AM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

I don't hold out much hope that the Government will draw the obvious conclusions from the research: Stop Persecuting Landlords.
Instead the Civil Service view seems to be:
"Landlords are screaming blue murder so they must be hurting. Good. Let's hurt them some more. That's what tenants want."


11:24 AM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Bristol Landlord at 25/08/2023 - 00:53
Spot on BL

The harmony of the PRS sector has broken with continued throttling. There are no winners, only losers, landlords who sell or manage to sell will have some hollow victory leaving more people looking for properties.

I feel selling will become difficult in the future, if the tenant can't find anywhere to rent.

How does it end?

Fed Up Landlord

11:51 AM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

My fellow landlords we are witnessing the "politics of envy" which infuses the liberal left within the civil service, other institutions such as, teaching, universities, judiciary, media, medicine, and the mainstream political parties. Landlords are seen as "the enemy". To be persecuted, taxed, regulated and exterminated out of existence. This is an ideological war on the landlord property owning classes waged by those in positions of wealth and power- who themselves are property owners who feel that the " masses" cannot be trusted with such power and seek to deprive them of it by all political, fiscal and monetary means possible.

The homeless are "collateral damage" in this war. We, as the landlords are the casualties.


12:20 PM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

Please, please, please make it easier to evict. The Renters Reform has got this SO wrong. Landlords do not evict without a good reason, so when they do they want to be able to do so quickly and cost effectively.

Happy Landlord

12:22 PM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

Why should anyone be surprised - as has been said any fool could have predicted this situation, the government is the chief cause of this situation aided and abeted by the civil service the B o E and a number of left wing organisations all showing complete ignorance - Just perceived envy! However many times I saw our local conservative MP he was not the least interested. Well the likes of shelter and the rest of the left wing establishment have only themselves to blame. The chickens are coming home to roost - the main loser's being tenants and landlords talk about fiddling whilst Rome burns - you could not make it up - TOTAL STUPIDITY from the government/ the crooked civil service and hangers on


12:43 PM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by dismayed landlord at 25/08/2023 - 10:40
I think that if the penny is dropping it is happening very slowely.
I recently had a conversation with an emforcement officer from a london borough where I have property and he asked me how he could persuade landlords to engage with the council to help them house the many families on their lists.
He thought that because they offer a "good package" to landlords that this should be all that was required.

Judith Wordsworth

12:44 PM, 25th August 2023, About a month ago

It's not just those wanting Council property or benefits paid private rented sector property.

Interesting to see on the ITV news the other night working families living in tents in friends / families gardens.

When the Renters Reform Bill was published I made a cynical comment "TUK Tent cities here we come".

No government has any proposals for UK housing, not even the devolved Parliaments.
Too much has been made of owner occupying - most European countries that isn't the norm - renting is. We, as a nation, only began wanting to own our own homes after WWII.

There is huge scope for utilising an old post war idea of pre-fabs/static mobile homes to house, and very cheaply, for thousands of families, couples, single people.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now