Lives blighted by the housing emergency and lack of social homes

Lives blighted by the housing emergency and lack of social homes

9:59 AM, 17th December 2020, About 3 years ago 10

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A new report from Shelter indicates 253,000 people in England are homeless and living in temporary accommodation during the pandemic, which is the highest figure for 14 years.

Rising homelessness is already a major problem with the latest figures showing 115,000 more people are homeless and trapped in temporary accommodation than a decade ago, but Shelter argues the economic chaos caused by Covid-19 risks turbo-charging the crisis. The charity’s analysis of government data shows the number of people in temporary accommodation jumped by 6,000 in the first three months after the pandemic struck.

However, the number of people experiencing homelessness is undoubtedly higher, as many people will be undocumented by councils because they are sleeping rough or sofa-surfing.

Shelter’s Homeless and Forgotten report examines the lives blighted by the housing emergency and lack of social homes, which is leaving thousands stuck in unstable temporary accommodation with nowhere else to go. Temporary accommodation provided by councils can range from a self-contained flat to an emergency B&B room with shared facilities. One in six homeless households (17%) are currently placed into emergency B&Bs and hostels, where poor conditions and gross overcrowding are rife. The use of emergency B&Bs alone has increased by a staggering 371% over the last ten years.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Over a quarter of a million people – half of them children – are homeless and stuck in temporary accommodation. This should shame us all. With this deadly virus on the loose, 2020 has taught us the value of a safe home like never before. But too many are going without, because of the chronic lack of social homes.

“Many people will spend Christmas in grim, dangerous places, cut off from loved ones and faced with a daily struggle to eat or keep clean. As the country continues to reel from the financial shockwaves caused by the pandemic, our services will do all they can to support those battling homelessness. This year has been unbelievably tough, but with the public’s generous support we will do our best to give hope and help to everyone who needs us.”

The report also revealed which parts of the country have the highest number of homeless people trapped in temporary accommodation:

  • More than two-thirds (68%) of all homeless people living in temporary accommodation are in London – this equates to 1 every 52 people in the capital.

  • In London, Newham has the highest rates of people in temporary accommodation (1 in 23), followed by Haringey (1 in 28), and Kensington and Chelsea (1 in 29).

  • Outside of the capital, Luton has the highest rate of people in temporary accommodation (1 in 55). This is followed by Brighton and Hove (1 in 78), Manchester (1 in 93) and Birmingham (1 in 94).

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Neil Patterson

10:01 AM, 17th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Shelter does not seem to be offering any practical solutions, but at least they are not solely blaming landlords.


10:38 AM, 17th December 2020, About 3 years ago

This is a blatant arm twist for donations from the gullible "generous" public. The fact that Shelter consider it acceptable to place the "homeless" or "unhousable" into "emergency B&Bs and hostels, where poor conditions and gross overcrowding are rife" has more to do with their destructive attitude towards the PRS sector, and the particularly harsh legislation that has been instigated and encouraged by them against private landlords, than the Covid pandemic. We would not be allowed to provide accommodation that fit her description without punitive repercussions. I evicted a non-paying tenant who clung onto my unit for 8 months ably abetted by Shelter. She ran up a debt of over GBP20 000 which remains outstanding. She is obviously one of the "homeless" now being housed in the growing pandemic of the social housing shortage. I would call that an own goal for Shelter. And my unit is now empty and will remain so because I will not tolerate another non-paying and destructive tenant who I would not be able to evict under present legislation.
Polly can have them.


11:38 AM, 17th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Thank you Polly, your policies are driving landlords away from the sector and allowing me to increase rents. Of course I have to be very selective in my choice of tenants who now have to have a guarantor, I will leave Shelter to advise the homeless (who I used to house) as to where they can shelter overnight.

Mick Roberts

15:06 PM, 17th December 2020, About 3 years ago

I saw this report yesterday.
Does this not tell 'em they clearly getting it wrong?

Shelter always says We need more Social Housing.
We do.

But We Landlords have a plan now don't we. We can do this much quicker than the Social Housing that isn't happening, or will not happen fast enough, nor keep pace.

I have it first hand (secretly) that Nottingham Council every time they ring a Private Landlord, the answer is they can't or aren't housing any of the Councils tenants cause of Licensing. Nottingham Council has disbanded their Letting Agency they set up to tempt Landlords as they was getting this reply back every time. The same Licensing that Shelter supported.
The Licensing that they wanted to help the tenants that came moaning about Bad Landlords not fixing boilers. But what they didn't do was ask the majority tenants who were happy with their houses what they would like.
These tenants don't come forwards & say Oh Splendid, I've just got a new boiler Shelter, would u like me to send u a photo? No, these tenants don't need to come forward cause they ain't got a problem. At no point did Shelter or the Council say We know u ain't got a problem cause your Landlord gets u good stuff on your home, but would u like a rent increase to bring in Licensing, so we can go after that bad Landlord in the next district?

And of course, we know with very simple quick fixes on Universal Credit, we can bring down the homeless too.

I believe Newham was the first place to bring in Selective Licensing & look above.

Fed Up Landlord

16:32 PM, 17th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Own goals by Polly Bleate at Shelter and Generation Got Nowhere To Rent. Plus a liberal lefty Tory Theresa May government. Got no rental properties? Lets kick the s**t out of the landlords so they all sell up and the poor tenants can buy them. Except the tenants can't buy them because THEY DON'T HAVE THE MONEY. That's why they rent. Perhaps Shelter have Homer Simpson as their Head of Policy. Doh!

Mick Roberts

16:47 PM, 17th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 17/12/2020 - 16:32That's exactly it Gary, I get loads of trolls attacking me on Twitter occasionally saying
U in a mess Mick, u gonna' have to sell soon, then tenants can buy.
And I keep saying
Where are my Benefit tenants gonna live, they can't buy?
I either get no answer or they say the Council will house 'em.
Yeah right, the same Council that's begging me to take their tenants.

And regarding the mess they keep saying I'm in, Licensing has made me better off after the initial headache, tenants can't leave any more, so no more doing houses up inbetween. Licensing has made tenants lives in good houses much worse.

terry sullivan

16:53 PM, 17th December 2020, About 3 years ago

how many are from outside uk?


7:13 AM, 18th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Shelter as ever giving the general public the impression they actually house people.
Sadly we all know the reality of their "help" and "advice".

Bristol Landlord

6:29 AM, 19th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 17/12/2020 - 16:32I think you are doing a great disservice to Homer Simpson, he is clearly smarter than anyone at Shelter. That being due to someone who knows “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything thats even remotely true.” has way too much intelligence and integrity to be Head of Policy at Shelter.


7:31 AM, 19th December 2020, About 3 years ago

I used to own a hmo and took in dozens of homeless individuals over a 5 year period- a lot of them on behalf of the local council. I stopped this and sold the property 2 years ago purely because of the increasing hostile environment from both central and local government and the obsessive hatred Shelter has towards the prs. They are now reaping what they sowed.

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