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Homelessness is a concern for one in five people in the UK as public urge Government to build social homes

News / Wed 12th Jun 2024 at 06:15am

MORE than one in five people in the UK fear they or someone they know could be homeless in the next 12 months – and 77% of the population want Government to support the building of more social homes to address the issue.

A new study, released today by leading social enterprise Places for People, can reveal that 21 per cent of people living in the UK fear they or someone they know will become homeless in the next year.

The worry is even greater among renters – both private (30%) and social (29%) – compared to 15% among homeowners.

Latest Government data shows 3,898 people were counted as sleeping rough across England on a single night in Autumn 2023, and 121 in Wales. In Scotland, 2,438 households reported rough sleeping during the previous three months before applying for support in 2022/2023.

Rough sleeping alone does not tell the whole story of the severity of homelessness. The most recent Government data shows households living in temporary accommodation is at its highest ever level with 112,660 in England, 15,625 in Scotland and 5,700 in Wales.

Meanwhile, according to the most recent available data, there are 1.29million households waiting for a social home in England, 110,900 in Scotland and 90,000 in Wales.

Well over three-quarters (80%) of people think that homelessness is a major national issue and a similar proportion (77%) believe Government needs to build more social homes to address the problem. 81% say Government should provide more funding to prevent homelessness.

Places for People, which owns or manages more than 245,000 homes across the UK including 74,000 social homes, is calling on the next Government to put building 90,000 social homes per year as a top priority.

John Greaves, Chief Impact Officer at Places for People, said: “These figures should alarm us all. What we found has bluntly exposed the worry that exists throughout the country. Sadly, however, they do not come as a surprise – for too long we have been highlighting the seriousness of the ever-growing homelessness crisis facing the UK.

“With renters in both social and private properties most concerned, everything people are telling us points towards a desperate need to build more social homes, although delivering the right mix of all tenures remains vital to ease overall pressure. At Places for People, we’re doing all we can to build more quality homes, including for social rent, and we support those who have fallen on hard times and are being let down by the welfare system, but we can only do so much.

“We know that building 90,000 social homes a year will be a challenge, but we’re ready to help. We see an opportunity to deepen our collaboration with partners and work closely together as part of public-interest-led development groups. This would bring developers, local authorities, members of the public and others together on larger schemes to plan and deliver the quality homes needed in a more joined-up and community-focussed way. This could be supported by giving Homes England greater flexibility over funding to deliver on more challenging sites. We want to put ourselves forward to work closely with Homes England and a local authority on a specific site to trial this model, building on the development corporation approach.

“As a sector, the concerns we have raised time and time again around the need for more social homes have not been listened to by Government in recent years. So, we are now urging whoever forms the next Government to listen to the people of the UK and put delivering more social homes at the top of your priority list. Talking’s over, it’s time to build.”

Places for People is doing all it can to build the quality homes needed across the UK. It completed 1,750 new homes in the last year, of which 86% are affordable, with 265 available for social rent. A further 1,944 were started in the last year, of which 74% are affordable and 210 will be available for social rent.

In addition to building more homes, Places for People also supported over 10,500 people who were either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the last year. We also fund, build and manage a range of facilities across the country to accommodate homeless people, including housing pods currently being developed in Bristol where those living there can live independently.

As a social enterprise we also provide significant investment to communities around the UK through direct support and services such as white goods provision, money advice, heat and food vouchers, education, health and wellbeing and more, totalling around £300million in social value per year.

The new study, conducted by Opinium on behalf of leading social enterprise Places for People, is a survey of 4,000 UK citizens. The research is being released in the weeks leading up to the General Election this summer.

Read the full results table on homelessness, including a breakdown by region, click: Homelessness polling data

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8 Comments for Homelessness is a concern for one in five people in the UK as public urge Government to build social homes:

Jim
2024-06-12 07:48:21

You'd have thought someone would realise that when you already have an unmanageable housing crisis, the last thing you want to do is add more people to the waiting list by importing them from abroad.

James Gamble
2024-06-12 09:53:56

What exactly is social housing? The only social housing I know is called a pub where many people used to spend their day. Then there is affordable housing which could be anything from a Lego house to a Palace, depending on your finances. What ever happened to Good old fashion Council houses? Strictly restrict the sale of Council houses, say they have to be 50 years old before they can be sold. Then there is the international market, Russian and Asian property barons driving up the cost of housing.what this country needs is a good housing policy.

Alex
2024-06-12 10:19:59

Absolutely James. 👍

Alison
2024-06-12 10:32:54

We haven't got enough homes for our own let alone the whole world..

David Forman
2024-06-13 00:12:33

Land Compensation Act needs reform. The economist Liam Halligan wrote about this in his book Home Truths. It explains how the Attlee and Macmillan governments were able to build such large numbers of council houses. The Tories upped big-time the compensation to landowners in 1961. Read a much shorter explanation by Halligan in his evidence to a Parliamentary committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/2743/pdf/

James Gamble
2024-06-13 09:51:13

The Labour government after the war had to build houses as so many were destroyed by the blitz. They managed to do this regardless of the massive debt of the war. There are far too many houses lying empty. If any government was to stop this it would account for all the homeless.

James Gamble
2024-06-13 12:52:30

As for the number of people rough sleeping, the latest official count estimated a total of 3,898 people were sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2023 in England. That stat is up by more than a quarter on the 3,069 people in 2022 and more than double the 1,768 counted in 2010 when the Tories came to power

James Gamble
2024-06-13 12:58:18

There are over a quarter of a million long-term empty residential properties across Britain according to averages from differing studies including government numbers and independent findings. The most recent government statistics (November 2023), reported that there were 261,189 long-term empty properties in England.

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