The homelessness monitor: England 2019 - Crisis


The homelessness monitor:
England 2019
Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Hal Pawson, Glen Bramley, Jenny Wood,
Beth Watts, Mark Stephens & Janice Blenkinsopp. Institute for Social
Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE), and The Urban
Institute, Heriot-Watt University; City Futures Research Centre,
University of New South Wales

May 2019
ii   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                  iii

               The homelessness monitor

               The homelessness monitor is a longitudinal study providing an independent
               analysis of the homelessness impacts of recent economic and policy
               developments across the United Kingdom. Separate reports are produced
               for each of the UK nations.                                                            The homelessness monitor:
               This eighth annual report updates our account of how homelessness stands in
               England in 2019, or as close to 2019 as data availability allows. It also highlights
               emerging trends and forecasts some of the likely future changes, identifying the
                                                                                                      England 2019
               developments likely to have the most significant impacts on homelessness.              Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Hal Pawson, Glen Bramley, Jenny Wood,
                                                                                                      Beth Watts, Mark Stephens & Janice Blenkinsopp. Institute for Social
                                                                                                      Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE), and The Urban
                                                                                                      Institute, Heriot-Watt University; City Futures Research Centre,
                                                                                                      University of New South Wales

                                                                                                      May 2019
iv   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                              v

               About Crisis                                                                       Acknowledgements

               Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. We help people directly        This report was commissioned by Crisis, and funded by Crisis and the Joseph
               out of homelessness, and campaign for the social changes needed to solve it        Rowntree Foundation (JRF), and our thanks go to Sophie Boobis, Matthew
               altogether. We know that together we can end homelessness.                         Downie and Dr Francesca Albanese at Crisis, and Aleks Collingwood, Darren
                                                                                                  Baxter and Chris Goulden at JRF, for all of their support with this work. In
                                                                                                  addition, we are extremely grateful to all of the key informants from the statutory
                                                                                                  and voluntary sector organisations across England who found time in their busy

               About the authors
                                                                                                  schedules to help us with this, and to all 167 local authorities who completed the
                                                                                                  questionnaire. Our thanks also to Katie Colliver for her invaluable assistance with
                                                                                                  editing and formatting.

                                                                                                  Disclaimer: All views and any errors contained in this report are the responsibility
               Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Professor Glen Bramley, Dr Beth Watts, Dr Jenny     of the authors. The views expressed should not be assumed to be those of Crisis,
               Wood & Dr Janice Blenkinsopp are all based at the Institute for Social Policy,     JRF or of any of the key informants who assisted with this work.
               Housing, and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE), and Professor Mark Stephens at
               The Urban Institute, at Heriot-Watt University. Professor Hal Pawson is based at
               the City Futures Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

               Crisis head office
               66 Commercial Street
               London E1 6LT
               Tel: 0300 636 1967
               Fax: 0300 636 2012

               © Crisis 2019
               ISBN 978-1-78519-061-2

               Crisis UK (trading as Crisis).
               Registered Charity Numbers:
               E&W1082947, SC040094.
               Company Number: 4024938
vi   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                      vii

               Contents                                                    Figures and Tables

               Figures and Tables                                    vii   Chapter 2
               Acronyms                                                x   Figure 2.1 	Changes in Real Median Annual Earnings, UK 2004-2018.                5
               Foreword                                               xi   Figure 2.2 	Net additional dwellings, 2012/13 – 2017/18.                         9
               Executive summary                                     xii   Figure 2.3 	Homeowner mortgage arrears Q4 2015-Q4 2018                          10
                                                                                         (percentage of balance outstanding)
               1. Introduction                                        1    Figure 2.4    Percentage changes in nominal and real house prices,               11
               1.1 Introduction                                       1                  September 2007 – December 2018
               1.2 Scope of report                                    1    Figure 2.5 	House prices as a multiple of earnings, September 2007              13
               1.3 Research methods                                   2                  and December 2018
               1.4 Causation and homelessness                         2    Figure 2.6    Annual percentage changes in real private rents,                   15
               1.5 Structure of report                                3                  2009/10-2017/18
                                                                           Figure 2.7    Private rents as a percentage of household incomes                 15
               2. Economic factors that may impact on homelessness    4    Figure 2.8    Private Landlord Possessions                                       16
               in England                                                  Figure 2.9    LHA/UC claims for housing assistance in the private rented         17
               2.1 Introduction                                       4                  sector (number)
               2.2 The broader economic context                       4    Figure 2.10   Affordable Housing supply and need estimates                       19
               2.3 Housing demand and supply                          8    Figure 2.11   Social sector lettings to new tenants (thousands)                  20
               2.4 Access to home ownership                          10    Figure 2.12 	"Through their allocations policies and practices,                 21
               2.5 Access to private rented housing                  14                  social landlords in my area (housing associations and, where
               2.6 Access to social and affordable rented housing    18                  applicable, LAs) are making every effort to assist in preventing
               2.7 Key points                                        26                  and relieving homelessness" (Respondent reactions
                                                                                         to statement)
               3. Government policies potentially impacting on       27    Figure 2.13 	"Changes in allocation policies applied by housing                 23
               homelessness in England                                                   associations in my area over the past few years have made
               3.1 Introduction                                      27                  it more difficult to prevent and relieve homelessness"
               3.2 Homelessness policies                             27                  (Respondent reactions to statement)
               3.3 Welfare policies                                  41    Figure 2.14 	"Post-2011 changes in eligibility rules and/or allocation          23
               3.4 Key points                                        54                  policies applied by my local authority have made it more
                                                                                         difficult to prevent and relieve homelessness" (Respondent
               4. Homelessness trends in England                     57                  reactions to statement)
               4.1 Introduction                                      57    Figure 2.15 	"Affordability/financial capability checks are making it more      24
               4.2 Rough sleeping                                    57                  difficult for homeless households to access social tenancies
               4.3 "Core homelessness"                               61                  in my area" (Respondent reactions to statement)
               4.4 Statutory homelessness                            63    Figure 2.16 	Social landlord possession orders and repossessions                25
               4.5 Wider forms of potential hidden homelessness      74                  (England)
               4.6 Key points                                        80
                                                                           Chapter 3
               5. Conclusions                                        82    Table 3.1 	Practitioner perceptions on the HRA - percentage                     28
               Appendix 1 Topic Guide (2018)                         87                of respondents agreeing with statement
               Appendix 2 Local Authority Survey (2018)              89    Table 3.2 	Benefit Cap by English standard region in 2015 and 2018              48
               Bibliography                                          94                and percentage of lone parents
viii   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                     ix

                 Chapter 4                                                                        Appendix 2
                 Figure 4.1 	Trends in local authority rough sleeper estimates by region,   58   Table 1    Survey response rate                                            89
                               2004-2018                                                          Table 2 	Perceived change in homelessness demand in previous              89
                 Figure 4.2 	London rough sleepers enumerated Q4 2013-2018:                 60              12 months (% of responding authorities)
                               breakdown by nationality                                           Table 3 	Has the profile of people seeking assistance from your           90
                 Figure 4.3 	London rough sleepers enumerated Q4 2013-2018:                 60              Housing Options service changed over the past year?
                               breakdown by assessed status                                                  (% of responding LAs)
                 Figure 4.4    Core Homelessness by Category in England, 2010-17             62   Table 4 	Perceived impact of the HRA on specific groups (% of             90
                 Figure 4.5 	Perceived change in overall homelessness "expressed            63              responding LAs)
                               demand" in year to Sept 2018                                       Table 5    Perceived adequacy of New Burdens funding                       90
                 Figure 4.6 	Statutory homelessness assessment decisions,                   65   Table 6    Familiarity with new rough sleeping strategy guidance           90
                               2008/09-2017/18                                                    Table 7 	Homelessness significance of migrants in local                   91
                 Figure 4.7 	Homelessness acceptances, 2008/09-2017/18: trends              65              authority area
                               at broad region level – indexed                                    Table 8 	LAs where EEA migrants “a problem” or “a major problem”:         91
                 Figure 4.8 	Local authority perceptions regarding changes in the           66              How easy is it to meaningfully assist this group? (% of LAs)
                               housing options service caseload profile over the                  Table 9 	Expected homelessness impacts of forthcoming                     91
                               previous year                                                                 welfare reforms
                 Figure 4.9 	Change in number of households made homeless due to            68   Table 10   Role of Local Welfare Assistance schemes                        92
                               selected immediate causes, 2008/09-2017/18 – indexed               Table 11 	“There is enough social housing in my area to allow both        92
                 Figure 4.10 	Local authorities’ use of temporary accommodation for         69              people at risk of homelessness and other households who
                               homeless households                                                           need it to have reasonable access” (% of respondents)
                 Figure 4.11 	Overview of local authority action to assist homeless (and    70   Table 12 	"Through their allocations policies and practices, social       92
                               potentially homeless) households, 2009/10-2017/18                             landlords in my area (local authority, if applicable, and
                 Figure 4.12 	Homelessness Reduction Act: statutory homelessness            72              housing associations) are making every effort to assist in
                               decisions, Q1 2018/19                                                         preventing and relieving homelessness" (Respondent
                 Figure 4.13 	Proportion of 20-34 year olds living with their parents by    74              reactions to statement)
                               selected region, England, 1996-2017                                Table 13 	"Changes in allocation policies applied by housing              93
                 Figure 4.14 	New household formation rates by tenure, England              75              associations in my area over the past few years have made
                               2007-16 (percent of households in each tenure)                                it more difficult to prevent and relieve homelessness"
                 Figure 4.15 	Headship rates for 20-29 year olds, selected English          76              (Respondent reactions to statement)
                               Regions 1992-2018                                                  Table 14 	“Post-2011 changes in eligibility rules and/or allocation       93
                 Figure 4.16 	Sharing households in England 1992-2018 (per cent)            78              policies applied by my local authority have made it more
                 Figure 4.17 	Overcrowding by tenure in England 1995-2016 (per cent)        79              difficult to prevent and relieve homelessness” (Respondent
                                                                                                             reactions to statement).
                                                                                                  Table 15 	"Affordability/financial capability checks are making it more   93
                                                                                                             difficult for homeless households to access social tenancies
                                                                                                             in my area" (Respondent reactions to statement)
x   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                           Foreword   xi

                                                                                Everybody deserves a safe and stable home, to build a better life for themselves
                                                                                and their families.

              AHC		   After Housing Costs                                       The homelessness monitor England 2019 is the eighth instalment of an annual
              AST		   Assured Shorthold Tenancy                                 state-of-the-nation report looking at the impact of economic and policy
              BHC		   Before Housing Costs                                      developments on homelessness.
              BRMA		  Broad Rental Market Area
              CEE		   Central and Eastern European                              Drawing on statistical analysis, insights from a large scale survey with local
              CHAIN		Multi-agency database recording information about rough   authorities and in-depth interviews with key informants, this year’s monitor
                      sleepers and the wider street population in London        reveals the challenges facing councils as the combination of cumulative welfare
              CIH		   Chartered Institute of Housing                            reforms and increasing housing market pressures are making it even harder for
              CPAG		  Child Poverty Action Group                                low income households to find a place to live.
              CPI		   Consumer Price Index
              DHP		   Discretionary Housing Payment                             Nine out of 10 councils warn more and more people in their area on the lowest
              DTR		   Duty to refer                                             incomes will become homeless because the freeze on Local Housing Allowance
              DWP		   Department for Work and Pensions                          (LHA) and other benefits means they can’t afford to pay their rents.
              EEA		   European Economic Area
              EHS		   English Housing Survey                                    The research shows that councils are seeing more demand for their services yet
              EU		    European Union                                            are faced with an ever diminishing social housing supply and very few options
              GB		    Great Britain                                             in the private rented sector. The report highlights the growing pressure councils
              GDP		   Gross Domestic Product                                    are under, with seven out of 10 reporting a rise in demand for their homelessness
              GFC		   Global Financial Crisis                                   services in the last year alone. And the problem isn’t confined to London or the
              H-CLIC  Case-level statutory homelessness data collection tool    South; more than three quarters of councils in the North reported a rise in the
              HB		    Housing Benefit                                           need for their services, as well as over two thirds in the Midlands.
              HRA		   Homelessness Reduction Act
              IFS		   Institute for Fiscal Studies                              This year’s Homelessness Monitor is the first since the Homelessness Reduction
              JSA		   Jobseeker’s Allowance                                     Act (HRA) came into force. This research shows some positive signs that the Act
              LA		    Local Authority                                           is enabling councils to help more people in housing need.
              LFS		   Labour Force Survey
              LHA		   Local Housing Allowance                                   Most local authorities reported that the HRA has enabled a more person-centred
              LWA		   Local Welfare Assistance schemes                          approach to managing homelessness in their area and two-thirds of authorities
              MHCLG   Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government    saw the Act as having positive impacts for single people. While this is a positive
              NAO		   National Audit Office                                     step forward, there remain pressing structural issues that if unresolved risk
              ONS		   Office for National Statistics                            reversing the positive steps achieved by the HRA so far. The government needs
              PRS		   Private Rented Sector                                     to urgently address the issues underpinning homelessness by building more social
              RRP		   Rapid Rehousing Pathway                                   housing and restoring LHA rates in Universal Credit to ensure they truly cover the
              RSI		   Rough Sleepers Initiative                                 cost of rent so that more people can afford private renting.
              RSS		   Rough Sleeping Strategy
              SAR		   Shared Accommodation Rate                                 This year’s monitor explores all these issues in detail and gives the most up to
              TA		    Temporary accommodation                                   date and authoritative overview of the state of homelessness in England today.
              TAF		   Targeted Affordability Fund                               It is invaluable tool for those interested in understanding homelessness and
              TPD		   Third Party Deductions                                    seeking to end it.
              UC		    Universal Credit
              UK		    United Kingdom

                                                                                Jon Sparkes                    Campbell Robb
                                                                                Chief Executive, Crisis        Chief Executive, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
xii   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                                        Executive summary   xiii

                                                                                                                       key informants. Concerns focussed            positive impacts for single people in
                                                                                                                       mainly on the need to “scale up”             particular. At the same time, opinions
                                                                                                                       and sustain funding for promising            were somewhat divided on specific
                                                                                                                       initiatives to tackle rooflessness.          aspects of the legislation, such as

                                                                                                                                                                    "Duty to Refer" and "Personal Housing
                                                                                                                      • Statutory homeless acceptances              Plans", and there was widespread
                                                                                                                        fell slightly in 2017/18, although          concern about the new monitoring
                                                                                                                        still remain 42 per cent above their        and record-keeping requirements
                                                                                                                        2009 low point. The extraordinary           embedded with the new legislation.
                                                                                                                        rise since 2010 in the number of
                                                                                                                        households made homeless by the            • The overall number of social lets

                Key points
                                                                                                                        ending of private tenancies seems            continues to decline, as a result of
                                                                                                                        finally to have peaked. Homelessness         the long-term impact of the right
                                                                                                                        temporary accommodation                      to buy and inadequate levels of
                The Homelessness Monitor series is a longitudinal study                                                 placements, however, have                    new build. While the proportion of
                providing an independent analysis of the homelessness                                                   continued to rise, and now stand             this (declining number) of social
                                                                                                                        71 per cent higher than in 2011,             lets made to homeless households
                impacts of recent economic and policy developments                                                      with a disproportionate rise in              has recently risen (to 23%), this is
                in England and elsewhere in the United Kingdom.1 This                                                   Bed & Breakfast use also ongoing.            still substantially lower than the
                                                                                                                        By mid-2018 some 85,000 homeless             proportion a decade ago (26%).
                eighth annual report for England updates our account                                                    households were living in temporary          This means that some 18,000
                of how homelessness stands in 2019, or as close to                                                      accommodation, equating to over              fewer social lets were made to
                2019 as data availability allows.                                                                       200,000 people.                              homeless households in 2017/18
                                                                                                                                                                     than in 2007/08, despite statutory
                                                                                                                      • Over the last decade there has been          homelessness having risen
                                                                                                                        an increase of nearly 700,000 in             substantially over that period.
                Key points to emerge from our latest                    Greater London Authority/St Mungo’s             the number (or 28% in the share)
                analysis are as follows:                                CHAIN system.2 Having fallen back               of 20-34 year olds living with             • Very few local authority respondents
                                                                        since 2015, total London rough                  their parents, with no less than             believed that existing social
                • Rough sleeping may have levelled                      sleeper numbers rose to a new high              48 per cent increase in London               housing provision in their area is
                  off somewhat in England after                         in Q4 2018, up 25 per cent over 12              and the South East. Around half of           commensurate with homelessness
                  rapid growth since 2010, with                         months. This resulted largely from a            all concealed households would               needs, but many were at least equally
                  official estimates recording a 2 per                  renewed increase in rough sleepers              prefer to live separately, and these         concerned about the problematic
                  cent decrease nationally, and a 19                    of Polish and Romanian origin – up              proportions have been increasing             profile of the local social housing
                  per cent reduction in those areas                     69 per cent since Q4 2017. However,             over the period 2008-16. Allowing            stock portfolio, mismatched to need.
                  targeted by the Rough Sleeping                        United Kingdom-origin rough                     for this, there are 3.74 million adults      There were also widespread anxieties
                  Initiative, between 2017 and 2018.                    sleepers were also 13 per cent more             in concealed households who would            about ongoing changes to housing
                  However, there are still rising trends                numerous in Q4 2018 than a year                 prefer to live separately, including         association tenancy allocation
                  in three of England’s four broad                      earlier and – like the all-nationality          nearly 300,000 couple/lone parent            policies impeding local authorities’
                  regions, including London, in core                    total – the highest on record.                  family groups. Consistent with this,         ability to resolve homelessness. Two-
                  cities including Birmingham and                                                                       the proportion of younger adults             thirds of local authorities – 64 per
                  Manchester, and amongst Central                     • Three quarters of local authorities             heading households has fallen                cent – reported that social landlord
                  and Eastern European migrants. The                    responding to this year’s survey                markedly, particularly in London and         “housing affordability” or “financial
                  official 2018 total remains 165 per                   (75%) considered rough sleeping a               the South East where rates are 32 per        capability” checks were making it
                  cent higher than in 2010.                             problem in their area, and for nearly           cent below those in the early 1990s.         increasingly difficult for homeless
                                                                        one council in four (23%) it was                                                             households to access tenancies.
                • Consistent with these official                        said to be a “major problem”. The             • Most local authorities (62%) reported
                  estimates, London rough sleeping                      Rough Sleeping Strategy and Rough               that the Homelessness Reduction Act        • Private rents seem to be falling in real
                  has been recently once more on a                      SIeeping Initiative were generally              2017, which came into force in April         terms across the country as a whole,
                  rising trend as measured by the                       well received by local authorities and          2018, had enabled a more person-             but rising in London. Affordability in
                                                                                                                        centred approach to managing                 the sector as a whole appears to be
                1 Parallel Homelessness Monitors are being published for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
                                                                                                                        homelessness in their area; less than        improving, and repossessions falling.
                   All of the UK Homelessness Monitor reports are available from        a quarter (23%) said it had resulted in
                   homelessnessmonitor.html                                                                             little positive effect. Two-thirds (65%)   • However, the growth in the private
                2 Multi-agency database recording information about rough sleepers and the wider street population
                                                                                                                        of authorities saw the Act as having         rented sector (only marginally
                   in London.
xiv   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                                                                            Executive summary   xv
                  reversed in the last year) has exposed                     households are headed by lone                         reduction in the national total for a                     with the London borough rough
                  many more low-income households                            parents - the group least able to                     decade. Notwithstanding that the                          sleeper enumeration returns to
                  to higher housing costs, a smaller                         avoid the cap by moving into work                     England-wide total remained 165 per                       MHCLG in indicating a 25 per cent
                  proportion of which are protected                          or increasing their hours. The cap                    cent higher than in 2010, it fell back                    annual increase for London. This
                  through housing allowances in the                          is enacted in the first instance by                   by 2 per cent on 2017. At the same                        followed an apparent 2016 CHAIN-
                  benefit system. These tenure-related                       reducing housing support payments,                    time, however, a drop was recorded                        enumerated rough sleeping peak. This
                  increases in the risks of housing-                         and although this might be mitigated                  in only one of England’s four broad                       latest increase resulted substantially
                  related poverty, notably for younger                       through Discretionary Housing                         regions, the (largely non-metropolitan)                   from a strong reversal of the previous
                  families with children, highlight the                      Payments, the scale of the losses is                  South. Here, recorded rough sleepers                      decline in Central and Eastern
                  deepening economic and social                              such that the scope for mitigation                    were 19 per cent fewer in number in                       European rough sleeper numbers.
                  divisions in England between “insiders”                    is limited.                                           Autumn 2018 than a year previously. In                    Mainly due to rising numbers of rough
                  (older owner occupiers) and “outsiders”                                                                          the other three broad regions, rough                      sleepers of Polish and Romanian
                  (younger households without access                      • Only around a third of local authorities               sleeping continued to increase in                         origin, this cohort increased by 69 per
                  to wealth or high-paying jobs).                           reported that the Local Welfare                        2018 – by 13 per cent in London, by                       cent compared with Q4 2017 to stand
                                                                            Assistance scheme in their area                        28 per cent in the Midlands and by 7                      at its highest-ever recorded level.
                • The safety net once provided by                           played either a “very” or “somewhat”                   per cent in the North. Numbers rose                       Enumerated rough sleepers of UK
                  Housing Benefit, whereby post-                            significant role in preventing or                      substantially in the core cities of both                  origin, meanwhile, grew in number by
                  housing incomes were protected                            alleviating homelessness. In all,                      Manchester (by 31%) and Birmingham                        13 per cent, likewise reaching a new
                  from erosion below basic benefit                          18 per cent of responding local                        (by 60%), where there have been                           record number.
                  levels, has now effectively ended for                     authorities reported that they had no                  high-profile Mayoral pledges to
                  the bulk of private tenants in receipt                    Local Welfare Assistance scheme at                     tackle the problem,4 albeit that the                      Across England as a whole, a quarter
                  of benefit across the country, with                       all any more in their area, including                  officially recorded level fell in the wider               of rough sleepers are non-UK
                  young people under 35 particularly                        38 per cent in the Midlands.                           Manchester combined authority area.                       nationals according to the 2018 official
                  badly affected by reduced Local                                                                                                                                            estimates – a proportion which has
                  Housing Allowance rates and the                         • There are widespread anxieties                         Commenting on the 2018 statistics,                        increased substantially since 2017
                  working age benefit freeze.                               about the likely homelessness                          the Ministry for Hosing, Communities                      and involves mainly citizens of other
                                                                            impacts of future welfare reforms                      and Local Government noted a                              European Economic Area countries.
                • Hardship due to standard delays for                       already programmed to take effect                      greater degree of reduction in 83 local                   Homelessness involving migrants was
                  initial Universal Credit payments is                      over the next two years. Nearly                        authorities taking part in the Rough                      said to constitute a problem in more
                  compounded by widespread system                           two thirds of local authorities                        Sleeping Initiative in 2018 (-19%)                        than half of all local authorities that
                  errors; in some cases causing                             anticipate a “significant” increase in                 than the overall average reduction.5                      responded to this year’s online survey.
                  destitution. Recent Government                            homelessness as a result of the full                   Several key informants, from both the                     This was particularly true with regard
                  concessions on the design and                             roll-out of Universal Credit, with a                   statutory and voluntary sector, directly                  to homelessness amongst European
                  implementation of Universal Credit                        further 25 per cent expected some                      attributed these trends to the positive                   Economic Area migrants – 52 per
                  are welcome, but these must be                            level of increase.                                     impact of the Rough Sleeping Initiative                   cent of all responding authorities
                  extended to further mitigate risks of                                                                            in targeted areas. However, the UK                        considered this a problem in their
                  rising rent arrears that can lead to                    • The economic outlook remains                           Statistics Authority has recently cast                    area. However, while homelessness
                  homelessness. New measures are                            clouded by uncertainty surrounding                     doubt on that interpretation.6                            amongst European Economic Area
                  needed to tackle payment delays and                       Brexit, with future prospects                                                                                    migrants was said to pose a “major
                  deductions and to fast-track rental                       dependent on the outcome. A                            The most robust and comprehensive                         problem” in more than half of London
                  assistance directly to landlords where                    chaotic exit, for example, can                         rough sleeper monitoring data in                          Boroughs (58%), in all other regions
                  appropriate.                                              be expected to lead to a severe                        the UK remains the Greater London                         this was true of less than 10 per cent of
                                                                            economic downturn.                                     Authority’s CHAIN system managed                          responding authorities.
                • Further tightening of the Benefit                                                                                by St Mungo’s.7 The latest (Q4 2018)
                  Cap means that it now affects                           Trends in homelessness                                   CHAIN data appears fairly consistent
                  almost 53,000 households as its                         Rough sleeping
                  impact has spread out from London.                      The Autumn 2018 rough sleeper3                           4 See Fitzpatrick, S., Pawson, H., Bramley, G., Wilcox, S., Watts, B. & Wood, J. (2018); The Homelessness
                  Almost three-quarters of affected                       enumeration marked the first                                Monitor, England 2018. London: Crisis for a detailed discussion of city-regional devolution and
                                                                                                                                   5 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2018) Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn
                                                                                                                                      2018, England. Online: MHCLG.
                3 People sleeping rough are defined as: people sleeping, about to bed down (sitting on/in or standing next           autumn-2018
                   to their bedding) or actually bedded down in the open air (such as on the streets, in tents, doorways,          6 UK Statistics Authority (2018) Use of statistics on impact of Rough Sleeping Initiative. Online: UK Statistics
                   parks, bus shelters or encampments). People in buildings or other places not designed for habitation               Authority.
                   (such as stairwells, barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations, or “bashes” which are makeshift      sleeping-initiative/
                   shelters, often comprised of cardboard boxes). See Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local                   7 Because this method enumerates people who have slept rough during a given period (financial year) the
                   Government (2018) Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2018, England. Online: MHCLG.                  resulting figures cannot be directly compared with the ‘point in time’ snapshot numbers produced under
                   uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-in-england-autumn-2018                                                     the MHCLG national monitoring methodology as described above.
xvi   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                                                                      Executive summary   xvii
                The Office of National Statistics                        refuges and shelters; unsuitable                         however, when asked about the                          changes in such market conditions
                has recently published the first                         temporary accommodation (e.g. Bed                        change in Housing Options service                      – and not broader economic factors
                “experimental statistics” on the number                  & Breakfast, non-self-contained, a                       demand over the previous year,                         – that underlie trends in aggregate
                of deaths of homeless people in                          proportion of out of area placements);                   respondents will have referenced                       homelessness numbers. In the most
                England and Wales.8 This estimates                       and “sofa-surfing”, i.e. staying with                    the period from around October                         recent two years a more regionally
                597 deaths of homeless people in                         non-family, on a short-term basis, in                    2017 to September 2018. Half of this                   convergent pattern appears to have
                England and Wales in 2017, a 24 per                      overcrowded conditions.                                  period (since April 2018) coincides                    been established. It is, however,
                cent increase over the last five years.9                                                                          with the early implementation of the                   possible that the 2017/18 statistics
                Men accounted for 84 per cent of                         The overall level of core homelessness                   Homelessness Reduction Act 2017                        were affected by preparations for
                in the 2017 total, meaning that there                    in England (number homeless on a                         (see below), and many attributed                       transition to the Homelessness
                were more than five times as many                        typical night) has risen from 120,000                    recent increases to effects of the                     Reduction Act 2017 framework, and
                recorded male deaths as female deaths                    in 2010 to 153,000 in 2017, an increase                  new legislation, particularly bringing                 that such work was more advanced in
                in the homeless population. The mean                     of 28 per cent over the period. The                      forward more presentations from                        some regions than others.13
                age at death of homeless people was                      overall annual rate of increase has                      single people (see below). However,
                44 years for men, 42 years for women                     been fairly steady in this period.                       some argued that any “expressed                        At 56,600, annual homelessness
                and 44 years for all persons between                     However, different components have                       demand” impact arising from the new                    acceptances were some 17,000
                2013 and 2017; in comparison, in the                     shown contrasting trends. Hostels                        legislation needed to be seen within                   higher across England in 2017/18
                general population of England and                        etc. has declined by nearly 20 per                       the context of longer-term trends                      than in 2009/10. The vast bulk of this
                Wales in 2017, the mean age at death                     cent, as funding restrictions have                       associated with welfare reform and                     increase resulted from the sharply
                was 76 years for men and 81 years for                    reduced capacity,12 rough sleeping                       housing market factors that were at                    rising numbers made homeless from
                women. Over half of all 2017 deaths                      and related categories have increased                    least as significant.                                  the private rented sector with annual
                of homeless people were due to drug                      quite strongly, as reflected in official                                                                        losses of Assured Shorthold Tenancies
                poisoning, liver disease or suicide.                     statistics (165% increase since 2010).                   Nationally, 2017/18 saw a small drop in                having quadrupled during the period
                                                                         However, the fastest-growing                             the recorded statutory homelessness                    – from less than 5,000 to over 18,000
                “Core homelessness”                                      component has been unsuitable                            caseload, as reflected by the total                    (18,270) in 2016/17. In the latest year,
                In a parallel research project for Crisis,               temporary accommodation (260%                            number of formal local authority                       however, that trend was reversed,
                Heriot-Watt University has developed                     increase), reflecting the growing                        assessment decisions and, within that,                 whereas other “immediate causes”
                the concept of “core homelessness”,                      pressure on local authorities as                         “homeless – main duty accepted”                        of homelessness remained more
                which focuses on people who are the                      increased demand has faced static                        cases. The total number of main duty                   stable. This about turn in the trend in
                most extreme homeless situations.10                      or falling supply of social lettings                     decisions fell by some 5 per cent to                   private tenancy termination-related
                This encompasses much more of                            and increasing difficulty in achieving                   stand at 109,000 – or 23 per cent                      acceptances may reflect the filtering
                the single homeless population                           private rental placements. The largest                   higher than the 2009/10 low point.                     through of a sharp reduction in the
                traditionally inadequately reflected                     category of core homelessness is                         Similarly, “homeless – main duty                       number of relevant repossessions
                in statutory homelessness statistics,                    sofa surfing, and this has grown by                      accepted” cases (households deemed                     since 2015, which may in turn reflect
                including people who are rough                           26 per cent.                                             unintentionally homeless and in                        a contraction in the overall number of
                sleeping or in “quasi rough sleeping”                                                                             priority need) fell back by 4 per cent                 low-income households managing to
                situations (such as sleeping in cars,                    Statutory homelessness                                   in 2017/18 to stand at 56,600 – 42 per                 access the private rented sector with
                tents, public transport11); but also                     Most of those participating in this                      cent above their 2009/10 low point.                    the assistance of the Local Housing
                those: sleeping in cars, tents, public                   year’s LA survey (71%) reported that                                                                            Allowance (especially in central London).
                transport (“quasi rough sleeping”);                      homelessness had been recently                           The period from 2009/10 saw
                squatting and occupation of non-                         increasing – in a quarter of areas to                    major inter-regional divergence                        Since bottoming out in 2010/11,
                residential buildings; staying in hostels,               a “significant” extent. Importantly,                     in the changing scale of statutory                     homeless placements in temporary
                                                                                                                                  homelessness, with rising numbers                      accommodation have risen sharply,
                8	Office for National Statistics (2018) Deaths of Homeless People in England and Wales: 2013-2017. Online:       during this period recorded mainly                     with the overall national total rising
                                                                                                                                  in London and the South. These                         by 5 per cent in the year to 30 June
                9	The meaning of homelessness in this statistical release is based on the scope for identification of            contrasting trends are consistent                      2018 to exceed 82,000 – up by 71 per
                    homeless individuals in the death registration data. The records identified are mainly people sleeping        with known regional variations in                      cent from its low point seven years
                    rough, or using emergency accommodation such as homeless shelters and direct access hostels, at or            housing market conditions seen                         earlier. London continues to account
                    around the time of death.
                10	Bramley, G. (2017) Homelessness Projections: Core homelessness in Great Britain. Summary Report.              during this period, and with our                       for over two thirds of the total number
                    London: Crisis.               overarching understanding that it is                   of placements at any one point in time
                11	Note that people who are sleeping in cars and tents, but not those on public transport, are included in the
                    official rough sleeping statistics. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2018) Rough        13 Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government , for example, notes that the London Borough
                    Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2018, England. Online: MHCLG.            of Southwark, historically a major contributor to the London-wide homelessness total, implemented HRA
                    rough-sleeping-in-england-autumn-2018                                                                         procedures as from April 2017, rather than April 2018. See also the recently published evaluation of the
                12	The declining supply of hostel places in England is documented in the annual Homeless Link reports on         homelessness ‘trailblazer’ programme Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2018) Evaluation
                    Support for Single Homeless People, from which it is clear that the reduction is due to funding restriction   of Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers. Online: MHCLG.
                    rather than any reduction in need or demand.                                                                  uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791585/Evaluation_of_Homelessness_Prevention_Trailblazers.pdf
xviii   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                                                                      Executive summary   xix
                  (57,000 as at 30 June 2018 – 69%).                      prevention instances – up from only                    been increasing over the period 2008-                    the expansion of private renting. It now
                  Since the published data also show that                 16,000 in 2009/10. This would seem                     16. Allowing for this, there are 3.74                    appears that sharing has turned up
                  temporary placements as at 30 June                      highly consistent with the impacts of                  million adults in concealed households                   significantly, being at its highest rate
                  2018 involved some 124,000 children,                    “welfare reform” on those in precarious                who would prefer to live separately,                     for 20 years.
                  it is clear that the number of people                   housing circumstances (see below).                     including nearly 300,000 couple/lone
                  affected will have exceeded 200,000.                                                                           parent family groups. These numbers                      Overcrowding increased to quite
                                                                          The introduction of the Homelessness                   represent broad stability alongside the                  a pronounced extent from 2003
                  Although accounting for only 8                          Reduction Act creates a major                          estimates presented in recent Monitors                   to 2009, and broadly speaking has
                  per cent of the national temporary                      discontinuity in most of the official                  but a rise of about a third since 2008.                  plateaued subsequently. On the most
                  accommodation total as at 30 June                       statistics relating to homelessness                                                                             recent figures, 704,000 households
                  2018, B&B placements have risen                         in England. As in Wales previously,                    Over the last decade there has been                      (3.1%) were overcrowded in England.
                  much faster than other forms of                         where similar prevention-focussed                      an increase of nearly 700,000 in the                     Overcrowding is less common
                  temporary accommodation. Totalling                      legislation was introduced in 2015,                    number (or 28% in the share) of 20-                      and tending to decline in owner
                  6,890, the number of placements                         many more people (particularly single                  34 year olds living with their parents,                  occupation (1.3%) but much more
                  was 6 per cent higher than a year                       people) will be officially recorded as                 with no less than 48 per cent increase                   common in social renting (7.2%) and
                  previously and 266 per cent higher                      seeking assistance but initially most                  in London and the South East. The                        private renting (5.2%). The upward
                  than in 2009. Signs of stress are                       will be classified as “prevention” and/                flipside of this is that the proportion of               trend in overcrowding was primarily
                  also evident in the substantial levels                  or “relief” cases. Only a proportion                   younger adults heading households                        associated with the two rental tenures,
                  of out-of-borough temporary                             will in the end be accepted under the                  has fallen markedly, particularly in                     with private rental overcrowding
                  accommodation. As at 30 June 2018                       main local authority re-housing duty,                  London and the South East where                          increasing strongly up to 2009; social
                  such placements numbered 23,640,                        and it is likely that this number will                 rates are 32 per cent below those in                     renter crowding rose from 2004 to
                  most of these the responsibility of                     remain lower than in the past, thanks                  the early 1990s. These pronounced                        2009, fell back a bit but has increased
                  London boroughs. At 29 per cent of                      to the more comprehensive prevention                   declines in household headship rates                     again from 2012 to 2016. As with the
                  the national total this represented                     activity as legally mandated under the                 are associated with the impacts of                       other housing pressure indicators
                  a large increase on the 11 per cent                     new framework. At the time of writing,                 a tight housing market18 and also                        considered here, there is a much
                  recorded in 2010/11.14 These forms of                   only one quarter’s data was available                  of worsening real income/living                          higher incidence of crowding in
                  temporary accommodation (B&B and                        under the new regime, categorised as                   standards among younger working                          London (across all tenures), with a rate
                  out of area placements) are counted                     ‘experimental statistics’, and subject to              age people in this period.19 Thus, a                     of 7.3 per cent in 2014-16, although
                  in the “core homelessness” measure                      many caveats as to its interpretation.                 decade after the onset of the financial                  this has fallen slightly since 2008-10.
                  discussed above and are generally the                                                                          crisis and recession, and despite                        Crowding tends to affect families
                  most sensitive barometer of pressures                   Wider forms of potential hidden                        gradual improvements in employment                       particularly.
                  within that.                                            homelessness                                           levels and “recovery” in the housing
                                                                          A number of large-scale data sets                      market, the chances of many young                        Economic and policy impacts
                  The non-statutory homelessness                          allow us to explore certain aspects of                 adults being able to form separate                       on homelessness
                  prevention caseload remained far                        potential ‘hidden homelessness’ – that                 households are severely diminished.20                    The post-crisis economy has settled
                  larger than the formal statutory                        is, people who may be considered                                                                                into a familiar pattern of low growth and
                  homelessness cohort in the immediate                    homeless but whose situation is not                    The trajectory of sharing over time                      high employment, but there have been
                  pre-Homelessness Reduction                              ‘visible’ either on the streets or in official         showed a pronounced decline in the                       recent signs of the economy slowing
                  Act period. Looked at in a longer-                      statistics. This includes concealed                    1990s and a slight further decline in                    from what was already an anaemic
                  term perspective, the most striking                     households,15 sharing households16                     the early/mid 2000s, followed by an                      base. Employment remains at record
                  homelessness prevention “growth                         and overcrowded households.17                          apparent increase from 2008 to 2010,                     high levels, whilst unemployment (as
                  activity” has involved debt advice                      Around half of all concealed                           a sharp drop from 2010 to 2012, and                      measured through the Labour Force
                  and financial assistance which, in                      households would prefer to live                        a bounce back up in 2014-15. These                       Survey (LFS) at 4 per cent was at its
                  2017/18, accounted for almost 60,000                    separately, and these proportions have                 fluctuations may reflect the financial                   lowest level since the mid-1970s.21
                                                                                                                                 crisis and subsequent recession and                      However, earnings growth remains
                  14 Department for Communities and Local Government (2015) Statutory Homelessness: April to June
                      Quarter 2015 England. Online: DCLG.                  18 Econometric evidence on the influence of housing costs/affordability on household formation is
                      attachment_data/file/463017/201506_Statutory_Homelessness.pdf                                                  reported in Bramley, G. & Watkins, D. (2016) ‘Housebuilding, demographic change and affordability as
                  15 ‘Concealed households’ are family units or single adults living within other households, who may be            outcomes of local planning decisions: exploring interactions using a sub-regional model of housing
                      regarded as potential separate households that may wish to form given appropriate opportunity.                 markets in England’, Progress in Planning, 104, pp.1-35
                  16 ‘Sharing households’ are those households who live together in the same dwelling but who do not share      19 As evidenced for example in Lansley, S. & Mack, S. (2015) Breadline Britain: the Rise of Mass Poverty.
                      either a living room or regular meals together. This is the standard Government and ONS definition of          London: Oneworld, and more recently in Cribb, J. Hood, A. Joyce, R., and Norris Keiller, A. (2017) Living
                      sharing households which is applied in the Census and in household surveys. In practice, the distinction       standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2017. London: The Institute for Fiscal Studies, esp. s.2.3
                      between ‘sharing’ households and ‘concealed’ households is a very fluid one.                               20 Bramley, G. & Watkins, D. (2016) ‘Housing need outcomes in England through changing times:
                  17 ‘Overcrowding’ is defined here according to the most widely used official standard – the ‘bedroom              demographic, market and policy drivers of change’, Housing Studies, 31(3), 243-268.
                      standard’. Essentially, this allocates one bedroom to each couple or lone parent, one to each pair of      21 Office for National Statistics (2019) UK Labour Market: February 2019. Online: ONS. https://www.
                      children under 10, one to each pair of children of the same sex over 10, with additional bedrooms for
                      individual children over 10 of different sex and for additional adult household members.                       uklabourmarket/february2019
xx   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                                                               Executive summary   xxi
               weak. Real earnings in 2018 rose by                       The Government has rowed back                         At the time of this year’s local authority          The new Rough Sleeping Strategy
               just 1.3 per cent (when bonuses are                       from the stance taken after 2016                      online survey, the Homelessness                     published in Summer 201829 was
               included).22 Over the longer period                       when it marginalised social rented                    Reduction Act 2017 had been in force                generally well received by relevant
               since 2004 only older workers, primarily                  housing in its investment plans,                      for around 6 months. Local authorities’             local authorities and key informants
               those over 50, saw marked increases in                    and instead shifted the emphasis                      perceptions of these very early stages              (see above). Concerns focussed
               earnings. Younger workers, meanwhile,                     towards home-ownership. Since                         of the Act’s implementation paint a                 mainly on the need to “scale up”
               saw reductions. Since 2010, the biggest                   then Ministers have reallocated funds                 fairly encouraging picture. Most notably,           and sustain funding for promising
               real drop in earnings was 6.3 per                         towards rental, including social rental,              well over half of LA respondents (62%)              initiatives to tackle rough sleeping and
               cent for those aged 30-39, a key age                      housing, and a further £2 billion was                 saw the Act as having enabled a “more               homelessness amongst people with
               group for becoming established in the                     added to the overall programme in                     person-centred approach”, with this                 complex support needs, including
               housing market. Any attempt to forecast                   2018. The borrowing cap on English                    response particularly common in                     Housing First, local service “navigators”,
               economic trends is of course clouded                      local authority housing has been                      London (79%). Less than a quarter                   and “Somewhere Safe to Stay” rapid
               in the uncertainty of Brexit, but (almost)                lifted, and the rent reduction policy,                of respondents (23%) saw the HRA                    assessment hubs.
               all economists agree that any form of                     which has also constrained social                     as having had “little positive effect”.
               Brexit will be damaging to the economy,                   landlords’ investment capacity, is due                Numerous councils reported that the                 Notwithstanding the dominant local
               and that the “harder” the form of Brexit                  to end in April 2020. However, the                    new legislation had impacted positively             authority view that the “New Burdens”
               the more damaging it will be.                             annual level of affordable housing                    on their organisational culture and                 funding provided alongside the 2017
                                                                         output being attained remains below                   service quality, with two-thirds (65%)              Act was inadequate in relation to
               Estimates of the amount of additional                     35,000 units, which is a very long                    viewing it as having benefited single               mandated new duties, significant credit
               housing required vary widely, but the                     way from the levels of need identified                homeless people, in particular.                     was given to the Ministry for Housing,
               balance of evidence suggests that                         by Crisis and the National Housing                                                                        Communities and Local Government
               the levels of unmet housing need far                      Federation. These suggest an annual                   However, opinion was more divided                   for managing to extract substantial
               exceed current rates of housebuilding                     requirement for 90,000 units of                       on certain specific aspects of the                  new resources invested to address
               (and other net additions to the stock),                   social rented housing (and a further                  2017 Act. Personal Housing Plans, for               both rough sleeping and homelessness
               despite a continued upward trajectory                     28,000 low-cost home ownership                        example, were viewed by some local                  in the midst of ongoing austerity.
               in residential construction.23 Overall, the               dwellings and 32,000 for intermediate                 authority respondents as a beneficial               That said, the multiple and seemingly
               stock grew by 222,190 units in 2017/18.                   rent) - thus implying the need for a                  device in promoting a more person-                  uncoordinated nature of the relevant
               This marked the largest increase since                    very considerable scaling-up of the                   centred approach, while others                      funding streams was considered
               the Global Financial Crisis and is almost                 affordable housing programme.25                       expressed frustration around attempts               problematic, not least because of the
               as high as the previous peak in 2007/08.                                                                        to engage applicants in self-help as                significant “transaction” costs imposed
               However, the rate of increase in supply                   In contrast to Scotland and now Wales,                envisaged under the model. Many key                 on local authorities forced to engage
               slowed in 2017/18 and was only 2 per                      right to buy continues in England,                    informants and local authorities called             in regular bidding rounds, often at
               cent higher than in the previous year.                    and under the Government’s policy                     for the expansion of the new “Duty                  very short notice, for relatively small
               The Government is unlikely to meet                        of “reinvigoration” annual sales have                 to Refer” to specify robust obligations             amounts of money. It is also clear
               its all-tenure annual growth target                       risen from less than 4,000 to between                 for other public bodies to cooperate                that these additional income streams,
               of 300,000 units, which in any case                       16,000 and 18,000.26 In 2016/17 right                 with local authorities in the prevention            even in combination, go only a very
               undershoots the requirement for                           to buy sales offset almost 60 per cent                and resolution of homelessness.                     short way towards compensating for
               340,000 units per year over 15 years                      of the rental new build (social and                   There were also widespread concerns                 massive reductions in mainstream
               published by Crisis and the National                      affordable rental dwellings combined).                about the monitoring and record-                    local authority funding that have
               Housing Federation.24                                     In 2017/18 sales equated to 46 per cent               keeping requirements embedded with                  occurred since 2010, particularly
                                                                         of rental new build.27                                the new legislation, including (but                 with regard to housing-related
                                                                                                                               far from limited to) the new H-CLIC                 support revenue funding ("Supporting
                                                                                                                               statistical return.28 Many felt that these          People").30
               22 Office for National Statistics (2019) UK Labour Market: February 2019. Online: ONS. https://www.            bureaucratic burdens were seriously
                                                                                                                               impeding their capacity to engage in                This year’s Monitor took as one of
               23 Perry, J. (2019) ‘Dwellings, Stock Condition and Households’, in Stephens, M., Perry, J, Williams, P. and   the intensive casework with homeless                its principal themes access to social
                   Young, G. (eds) UK Housing Review 2019, Coventry: CIH.                                                      applicants that was required by both                housing for homeless people and
               24 Bramley, G. (2018) Housing supply requirements across Great Britain: for low-income households              the letter and the spirit of the 2017 Act.          those at risk of homelessness, which
                   and homeless people. London: Crisis and National Housing Federation.
               25 Bramley, G. (2018) Housing supply requirements across Great Britain: for low-income households
                   and homeless people. London: Crisis and National Housing Federation.                28 H-CLIC is the case level statutory homelessness data collection tool which has replaced the P1E
                   uk/media/239700/crisis_housing_supply_requirements_across_great_britain_2018.pdf; see also                      statistical return.
                   Shelter (2018) A Vision for Social Housing. Online: Shelter.     29 MHCLG (2018) Rough Sleeping Strategy. London: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local
                   campaigns/a_vision_for_social_housing                                                                           Government.
               26 Stephens, M. et. al. (2019) UK Housing Review 2019. Coventry: CIH. Table 20a. https://www.                      data/file/733421/Rough-Sleeping-Strategy_WEB.pdf
                                                                        30 Thunder, J. & Rose, C.B. (2019) Local Authority Spending on Homelessness: Understanding Recent
               27 Ibid.                                                                                                           Trends and their Impact. London: St Mungo’s and Homeless Link.
xxii   The homelessness monitor: England 2019                                                                                                                                                                             Executive summary   xxiii
                 has continued to become more                           practices with regard to allocations to      Homelessness Monitor is our finding                       post 2016, with this being particularly
                 difficult as lets to new tenants fell                  homeless households, disaggregated           this year that the medium-term shift                      true in southern England.
                 sharply after 2015/16. The current level               data indicates that there are some           towards private renting (only marginally
                 of lets to new tenants is 174,000 per                  difficult questions for local authorities    reversed in the last year) has exposed                    This pattern is consistent with the
                 year (2017/18) which is less than half                 to answer on this front too. In light        many more low-income households                           improved economy continuing to
                 of the level seen in the late 1990s.31                 of the decline in absolute numbers           to higher housing costs. Between                          “pull” some private rented sector
                 Moreover, there were 39,000 fewer                      of social housing lettings and rising        2002/03 and 2016/17, people in the                        tenants out of reliance on benefit,
                 new social lets in 2017/18 than five                   homelessness, it is reasonable to            bottom income quintile experienced                        especially in the more prosperous
                 years earlier in 2012/13. The continued                expect the proportion of lets to             a 47 per cent rise in mean housing                        South, but also with the Local Housing
                 long-term decline in lettings is the                   homeless households would rise               costs.35 Whilst 17 per cent of this                       Allowance caps and freezes “pushing”
                 inevitable consequence of lower levels                 sharply, but in fact the reverse seems       increase is attributable to rising private                some low-income households out
                 of new build and the long-term impact                  to have happened. Whilst the data is         rents, 40 per cent of it arose from                       of the private rented sector more
                 of the right to buy. The proportion                    illustrative rather than fully robust, it    tenure change. The tenure change                          abruptly and sooner in the capital
                 of social housing lets to new tenants                  suggests that there has been a decline       effect is even greater for the second                     than elsewhere. The timing of this
                 allocated to homeless households                       in the proportion of council lettings        lowest income quintile. Almost three-                     contraction in the number of private
                 in England, currently around 23 per                    to new tenants that are allocated            quarters (73%) of the 37 per centage                      rented sector tenants in receipt of
                 cent, has increased slightly in the                    to homeless households from 30               increase in their housing costs is                        help with housing costs is also broadly
                 past few years. Nonetheless this                       per cent in 2007/08 to somewhere             attributable to tenure change.36 These                    in step with a sustained reduction in
                 proportion (of a declining absolute                    between 22 per cent and 25 per               tenure-related changes in the risks                       Assured Shorthold Tenancy evictions
                 number) of social lets still remains                   cent in 2017/18, while the equivalent        of housing-related poverty, notably                       since 2015,38 and also with a more
                 considerably lower than in previous                    housing association share has                for younger families with children,                       recent reversal in the upward trajectory
                 years. A decade ago the proportion                     remained relatively steady at 23 per         reinforce the deepening divisions                         in Assured Shorthold Tenancy - related
                 was 26 per cent.32 This means that                     cent.                                        between housing market “insiders”                         homelessness acceptances (see above).
                 some 18,000 fewer social lets were                                                                  (older owner occupiers) and “outsiders”
                 made to homeless households in                         While relevant trends in the private         (younger households without access                        Many of these access issues with
                 2017/18 than in 2007/08, despite                       rented sector are more complex               to wealth or high-paying jobs).                           regard to the private rented sector, but
                 statutory homelessness having risen                    than those in social housing, they                                                                     also in the housing association sector,
                 substantially over that period.                        are no more encouraging from                 At the same time as this tenure shift                     hinge of course on the fundamental
                                                                        the perspective of homelessness              has exposed many more low-income                          weakening of mainstream welfare state
                 Exacerbating overarching supply                        prevention and alleviation. There has        households to higher housing costs, a                     protection that has taken place since
                 concerns, ongoing shifts in housing                    been a downturn in private renting           smaller proportion are now protected                      2010. The safety net once provided
                 association tenancy allocation policies                and an upturn in ownership in 2017/18,       through the benefit system, with the                      by Housing Benefit, whereby income
                 and practices are perceived by local                   which is likely to reflect the cooling       share of private tenants in receipt of                    to spend on other (non-housing)
                 authorities as increasingly impeding                   of the buy-to-let market in response         help with housing costs falling from                      essentials was protected from being
                 their ability to resolve homelessness.                 to tax changes and the assistance            around one-quarter in 2014/15 to                          pushed below basic benefit levels, has
                 Nearly half of council respondents                     given to home owners, including              around one-fifth in 2017/18 - bringing                    now effectively ended in the bulk of
                 (47%) reported that problematic                        stamp duty exemptions. As indicated          it back to the proportion last seen                       the private rented sector across the
                 changes of this kind had recently taken                by Government survey data, the               in 2008/09.37 Administrative data                         country, with young people and those
                 place amongst housing associations in                  proportion of households renting             suggests that Local Housing Allowance                     living in high value areas particularly
                 their area. An even larger proportion                  privately fell from a peak of 20.3 per       claims (and subsequently claims for                       badly affected by the Local Housing
                 (almost two-thirds - 64%) reported that                cent in 2016/17 to 19.5 per cent in          private tenants assisted through the                      Allowance caps and the working age
                 social landlord “housing affordability”                2017/18.33 This is the first recorded fall   housing cost element in Universal                         benefit freeze.
                 or “financial capability” checks (usually              for almost two decades. Private rents        Credit) rose between 2010 and
                 imposed by housing associations)                       appear to be falling in real terms across    2014 and fell back thereafter. Claims                     The reduction in the Benefit Cap
                 were making it increasingly difficult                  the country as a whole, but rising in        in London as a whole fell sharply                         means that it now affects almost
                 for homeless households to access                      London.34 Affordability in the sector as     between 2014 and 2016 and have                            53,000 households as its impact has
                 tenancies in their area.                               a whole appears to be improving.             remained virtually flat subsequently. In                  spread out from London. Almost
                                                                                                                     all other regions, with the exception of                  three-quarters of affected households
                 This said, while local authorities are                 However, arguably of greater                 the North East, they have continued                       are headed by lone parents - the
                 very critical of housing association                   significance in the context of the           on a pronounced downward trajectory                       group least able to avoid the cap by

                 31 UK Housing Review 2019, Table 102                                                                35 Cribb, J, Norris Keiler, A and Waters, T (2018) Living standards poverty and inequality in the UK: 2018, IFS
                 32 Stephens, M. et. al. (2019) UK Housing Review 2019. Coventry: CIH. Table 98c. https://www.
                                                              36 Ibid.
                 33 English Housing Survey 2017/18, Annex Table 1.1                                                  37 English Housing Survey, Annex Table 1.14
                 34 English Housing Survey, 2017/18, Annex Table 1.12                                                38 ONS (2018) Mortgage and Landlord Possession Statistics Quarterly, Table 8
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