The homelessness monitor: England 2019 - Crisis
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xxxxxxx 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 www.crisis.org.uk © 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 Acronyms Foreword 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 Executive 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 summary "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 http://www.crisis.org.uk/pages/ 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 homelessness. 5 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2018) Rough Sleeping Statistics Autumn 2018, England. Online: MHCLG. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-in-england- 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. https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/use-of-statistics-on-impact-of-rough- (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. https://www.gov. 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 ONS. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/ in London and the South. These by 5 per cent in the year to 30 June bulletins/deathsofhomelesspeopleinenglandandwales/2013to2017 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. https://www.crisis.org.uk/media/237582/crisis_homelessness_projections_2017.pdf 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. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ 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. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/ 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. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ 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 ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/ 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 ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/ impeding their capacity to engage in This year’s Monitor took as one of uklabourmarket/february2019. 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. https://www.crisis.org.uk/ media/239700/crisis_housing_supply_requirements_across_great_britain_2018.pdf 25 Bramley, G. (2018) Housing supply requirements across Great Britain: for low-income households and homeless people. London: Crisis and National Housing Federation. https://www.crisis.org. 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. https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/ 29 MHCLG (2018) Rough Sleeping Strategy. London: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local campaigns/a_vision_for_social_housing Government. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_ 26 Stephens, M. et. al. (2019) UK Housing Review 2019. Coventry: CIH. Table 20a. https://www. data/file/733421/Rough-Sleeping-Strategy_WEB.pdf ukhousingreview.org.uk/ukhr19/compendium.html 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. https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/13075 ukhousingreview.org.uk/ukhr19/compendium.html 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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