Government Statistics No Longer Reliable Say Charities As Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse


How private sector evictions are driving homelessness. AST stands for Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Graph from Crisis.

Figures showing that statutory homelessness has soared in England by 27% since this government weren’t elected do not even scratch the surface of the desperate homelessness epidemic.

53,250 families were accepted as homeless in 2014, up from 41,780 five years earlier and the latest official homelessness statistics uncover some stark facts about those without a home.  There are now twice the number of families living in B&Bs than in 2010 and the number who have been there over six weeks has leapt by an appalling 500%.  This is a practice which had almost died out, but as demand for temporary housing has risen over the the last five years there are no longer enough hostels, refuges and other forms of emergency accommodation for the growing numbers of homeless families.

These statistics come after last month’s rough sleeping estimate which showed that there are now more people sleeping on the streets than since official records began.  But neither of these sets of government approved figures come close to telling us the true extent of the homelessness crisis.

In February the Homelessness Monitor report was relased.  This is an annual study commissed by charities which looks at the impact of government policies on homelessness.  It makes for horrifying reading.

Changes introduced in the way homelessness is managed by local authorities mean that many councils are now using ‘informal’ measures to help homeless families which are not included in official statistics.  According to homelessness charities this means that “the bottom line is that we can no longer rely on these figures to show national trends”.

The report points out that “there were some 280,000 ‘local authority homelessness case actions’ in 2013/14, 9% up on the previous year”.  In other words many cases of homelessness were swept under the carpet with families often fobbed off into precarious private sector accommodation.  And of course as word gets round that all the council will do is send you off to your local slum landlord if you approach them for housing assistance then less people are likely to ask for help.

The majority of homeless people are not included in any figures, anywhere.  Local authorities are only duty bound to help people judged to be what is known as in ‘priority need’.  That means people with children, those over pensionable age, or people with serious health conditions or disabilities.  If you are single, under 65 and not seriously ill then you will be left to fend for yourself.  Should you end up on the streets then you may eventually get picked up by a charity outreach worker and offered a place in a nightshelter or hostel.  But turn up at the council saying you have nowhere to go that night and most will do little more than shrug their shoulders.

There are around 40,000 single people in Engalnd who are living in hostels or nightshelters –  sometimes in dormitory style accommodation.  They are not recorded in any formal homelessness statistics.  Nobody knows how many people are living in squats, vehicles, campsites or in unregistered providers of temporary housing like grotty B&Bs and backpacker hostels.  Then there is the largest group of homeless people by far, the hidden homeless sleeping on a friend’s sofa or in over-crowded family accommodation.  The Homelessness Monitor says that an astonishing 2.23 million households contain what they call ‘concealed’ single people in addition to a hidden 265,000 couples or lone parents.

Whilst the true scale of homelessness in England can only be guessed at there is one thing that is certain.  Every form of homelessness that is formally recorded is rising sharply, from the (widely believed to be fixed) count of how many people are on the street to the number of homeless families approaching councils for help.  Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms are directly responsible according to homelessness charities, with benefit sanctions, the bedroom tax and the benefit cap identified as doing the most damage.

David Cameron has pledged to introduce a further benefit cap within weeks of being re-elected whilst both parties appear to favour regional benefit caps.  The truth is that benefits have always been capped, currently at £72.40 a week for single unemployed people. What Cameron really wants are caps on Housing Benefit, the government subsidy paid out to landlords which swallows up the largest part of the UK’s benefit’s bill.  The result will be more evictions as people are unable to  pay their rent whilst more landlords will decide, possibly illegally, not to accept any tenants on benefits at all.  As the graph above shows, it is private sector evictions that are driving rising homelessness.

Both parties are committed to so-called affordable rents which barely anyone can afford.  In the capital affordable rents on even a modest property can cost more than the total someone would receive working full time on the London Living Wage.  Affordable housing means housing for middle class people not the working class.  Real council house provision at social rents is being quietly eradicated.  Labour have not said they will reverse Right To Buy policies.  The Tories say they will extend the great council house sell off to housing association properties.

It is as tragic as it is shocking that so many people should be without a home in one of the richest countries in the world.  That not one politician of any main party takes this seriously is the real scandal however.  You will barely hear a word about homelessness in the run up to the election.  MPs are far more interested in lining the pockets of landlords and property developers than helping homeless people.  Many of them are landlords themselves.  Almost all have lived such pampered lives that the only time they are likely to set foot in a homelessness hostel or housing office is to have their fucking photo taken standing next to some poor people.  They think homeless people are the people you step over when you come out of the opera.  

That is why soaring homelessness, which destroys lives, does not even register with the politicians paid and elected to represent us.  It will never happen to them so they couldn’t give a fuck.

Support the March for the Homeless on April 15th in London, Glasgow, Hull, Newcastle, Manchester, Huddersfield, Norwich, throughout Ireland and across the world.

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57 responses to “Government Statistics No Longer Reliable Say Charities As Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse

  1. 26th March.

    ESA.DLA./PIP – CARER. Individual Support.

    We are to inform you that the decision has been made by “Places For People” to cease provision of “home care services, we are working closely with west sussex council for the safe transfer of customers to other providers.

    More detailed information of the arrangements will be communicated to you as soon as possible.


    Once you have successfully championed the hiding of state assisted deaths, the rest becomes easy…………………….

    The freedom of information commissioner , Christopher Graham, is being well paid to keep the DWP death toll from the prying eyes of the public.
    He in turn will be rewarded by a knighthood for his demonisation of the poor and disabled like Dame Carol Black and Sir Mansel Aylward and Lord David Fraud.

    They might be able to manipulate the deaths and the news and statistics crap, but they will never be capable of managing the backlash.

    Leakage to the BBC of the governments intentions to cut billions off the benefits bill was carefully thought out, testing the water before implementation, seeing how the electorate would react.

    What they have done is shot themselves in the foot, the rebellion is gathering momentum.
    Disabled and poor represent a huge chunk of the voting public, they might be homeless and suffering but can still make a cross on a piece of paper.

    Fiddling votes will be top of the agenda, the Westminster elite managed to do it in the Scottish referendum..

    Forget the judiciary, they are nothing but government controlled bully boys who represent nothing but themselves, pandering to the whims of fucking idiots like the Secretary of State for Ethnic cleansing.


  3. overburdenddonkey see report incl…’Foreword; Homelessness is devastating. Here at Crisis we see the effects every day – problems with mental and physical health, ruined confidence and social isolation. Put simply, the experience shatters lives, and it takes a lot of time and work to put the pieces back together. It would be far better –and more cost-effective for the public purse – if no one ever had to go through it in the first place.Yet the shocking truth is that even in the 21st century, in one of the richest countries in the world, homeless people who ask their local authorities for help are being turned away to sleep on the streets – cold, desperate and forgotten. This is nothing short of a scandal.
    Turned Away gets to the very heart of the problem by investigating the help local authorities offer to single homeless people. Mystery shoppers with experience of homelessness visited 16 local authorities across England, each presenting with a typical homeless scenario informed by their past experience.
    The resulting report offers a powerful insight into the problems people face when approaching……’ a scandal that should be at the centre of the political debate. but barely gets a mention…we need 1m homes @ least to be built NOW! no wonder many feel powerless…


      • Blood On Their Hands

        Stop mincing your words GEOFF – McVey, IDS, assorted cunts are worse than murderers, these bastards are mass murderers! May they Burn in Hell!!

        • It needs varnishing and framed and hung In national gallery as a work of art

          • I like how they try to use it as a political spin tool. First they try to make out it’s an attack on women in general, when it has nothing to do with the fact she’s a woman. It has, on the other hand, everything to do with her support for the nastiest policies imaginable, being implemented with an ideological zeal on the poorest and most unfortunate in society, and with the sick demonization of anyone claiming benefits. Secondly they drag Labour into it by saying they should condemn it, in the hope they won’t and they can then cast it up in the days and weeks ahead.

            • @Raining standard,practice

              I was amused by comments in the Daily hate today about allegation that Enoch Powell named as an abuser.
              The commenteers seem to think Powell was some kind of God who should not be tarnished by such allegations

              The votes and comment are typical of daily hate readers

      • dulux doesn’t a second coat lol

    • Good to see little sympathy in the comments section of the paper for Mcvey. The Tories are playing the misogyny card, despite the blindingly obvious fact that the word ‘Mcvey’ could just as easily be replaced by ‘Cameron’ or ‘Duncan Smith’.

  4. Get the scum like McVey, Cameron, Milliband, Clegg and Farage to experience homlessness. They condem hate crime when they are guilty of it against the poor. Cameron could not live on a zero hours contract, it is his kind that are scroungers getting inherited wealth from those who worked in the coal mines etc. They are at war with us, ruthless evil sociopathic bastards run the system for their doners.

  5. The Fight To Save Social Security Won’t Be Over Whoever Wins The Election, Come To The Welfare Action Gathering – 30th May.
    Exactly the politicians are our enemies, not our representatives. I did not vote for an independent Scotland but I hope after 30th May Labour is extinct north of the border. They are the same as the Tories.

  6. Guess who's NOT reading this?

    There are ‘Bugger All ‘ replies to this piece because frankly I cannot think of a duller headline. Second time in a short while as well.
    Its the equivalent of screaming about less crushed nuts on a ’99 ice cream.;Not exactly headline grabbing,is it?
    Cattches the attention like a rise int he price of mosquito nets.

  7. Guess who's NOT reading this?

    ‘Government statistics no longer reliable’. Shocker.
    Say ‘Charities’ . Who rely on the poor and Needy for an income, yet SAY NOTHING about the plight of those they make a living from,in the public realm.
    It matters not weather a man wears a suit and calls himself ‘Prime Minister’ or a a fancy dress outfit and calls himself the Archduke of Canterbury; If he cannot wield a shovel and repair roads or plant food he is nothing but a drain on those around him and should be cast out as an undeserving burden.
    Let him that not work not Eat; (Mr George Smith).

  8. Pingback: Government Statistics No Longer Reliable Say Ch...

  9. Guess who's NOT reading this?

    Mr David Cameron. Essential life skills; None.
    Engineering? Nada.
    Building; None.
    Farming; Nothing.
    Electronics; Zilch.
    Physical skills; Weapons; , Nope.
    Martial Arts. See physique.
    ‘Alpha Male ‘ leadership; see ‘Physique’.
    (Possibly a leader by opportunity but not by plan and in no way inspirational to other men.).
    An accident of timing that will likely benefit nobody but himself in the role of U.K. leader, having already earlier quality stamped his career by doing absolutely nothing of worth before sitting in Paxman’s chair.
    A fucking MUMMIES BOY ; about as usefull as a bicycle tire repair kit to the residents of Pompei on Volcano day.

  10. I don’t know if anyone watched the BBC program rouges rats and landlords last Friday …..we realy are in a crisis and jv you are spot on none of the parties will touch it . It showed just how ….foul corrupt and toxic the private rental sector is. Discusting….and life negating were to thease sham polititions think the mass homeless are gonna go …tent citys that’s were……ooh hang silly silly me I forgot all the land in the sad country has been stolen by the the windsors and the aristocracy…so called…the rest stolen by the church…

    • Guess who's NOT reading this?

      Yeah, but it isnt just taht,is it? The local’spoons’ now hammers the staff so hard the customers are drying out.
      British Gas walks into your house, you are absolutely Fubard. They will walk out with parts from your boiler and tell you to sue! The fish an’ Chippy is Gone,The Spanish have eaten all the fish! The chippy was replaced by a kebab shop that can serve slices of guts in a pitta bread for twice the money, between 3 pm and 3 a.m. The leccy bil comes from some german toss pott. You have to buy clothes online becuse shops have become a joke.
      There is little to nothing left for these idiots to sell or spoil?
      Keep voting party politics, for some Wanker like George to say;’What we are trying to Do’..(without mandate or stated policies) is keep the M.E.P. parrachute option open for failed m.p.’s. Cos sooner or later there will be nothing left to sell? And then the shit will hit the fan.

  11. Iain Duncan Smith, one of Mr Cameron’s predecessors as Tory leader, said that Mr Cameron would stand down as Prime Minister before the 2020 election.

    The comments appear to contradict Mr Cameron’s claim last weekend in a BBC interview that he was “putting myself forward for the full five years”.

    Mr Duncan Smith also said the Tories would only set out details of the Conservatives’ plans to cut £12billion from the benefits budget if it was “relevant”.

    He said: “We may, we may not decide that it’s relevant to put something out there about those changes but what I am saying to you is the public cannot doubt for one moment.”

    Mr Duncan Smith confirmed that a leaked list of possible benefits cuts to the BBC on Friday was accurate, blaming a “bitter individual” for leaking a list of ideas from the department.

    • Yet tis morning he says there are no “Plans” for such cuts… oh dear, order, counter order – disorder in the ranks
      This lot is reminding me more and more about the ConCons fall from power last time around

    • Also, this came from a snr civil srvant, on that kind of whack how could they be ‘bitter’? unless they found the plans too bitter to swallow?

      • Meanwhile

        Tories may not reveal details of £12bn welfare cuts until after election.

        Iain Duncan Smith says Conservatives will talk about where axe should fall when party is ready – as IFS director warns of ‘pretty dramatic’ cuts.

        The welfare secretary said it may not be “relevant” to explain where the rest of the cuts will fall before the election.

        His comments on Sunday came after the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned that the planned cuts will be “really tough” to achieve, involving “pretty dramatic” reductions in areas such as housing and disability benefits over the next three years.

    • Tory leadership challenge

    • Should have said that IDS was a failed leader

    • A bitter manifesto – legitimising welfare cuts through a “bitter individual” so they can claim a mandate should they win the 2015ge.

      David Cameron will not serve a full second term as Prime Minister if he wins the General Election, one of his senior Cabinet ministers has claimed.

      So the UK electorate are being asked to vote for a phantom Prime Minister, the indifferent apparition of David Cameron.

  12. The new ScotRail franchise will offer free rail travel to interviews for jobseekers, as well as a month’s free travel if they get the job.

    Advance fares between any two Scottish cities from £5 will be introduced, and the ScotRail 55+ concessionary scheme will be extended to those over 50.

    The Dutch operator Abellio will take over the franchise on 1 April.

    ScotRail staff, who will all transfer to the new franchise, and subcontractors have both been guaranteed the living wage.

    Abellio has pledged to create at least 100 apprenticeships, and has committed to having no compulsory redundancies throughout the contract’s period.

    “This means it will play a truly strategic role in the long term development of the nation; providing jobs.

  13. Pingback: It’s Real, Isn’t It? The Tories Are Terrified Of Ed Miliband | TheCritique Archives

  14. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Mr Void here attempts to reveal the true extent of homelessness in Britain, while rightly condemning the fact that neither party deems this to be an important issues that needs confronting in the run-up to the election. He gives the background information on how unreliable the official statistics are.

    Tackling homelessness is the task of the local authorities, who use informal methods of estimating its extent, and who are only obliged to tackle priority cases. Thus, in addition to the 53,000 odd families now on the streets, there may be a further 40,000 single people, and over a quarter of a million ‘hidden homeless’ couples or single people, sleeping on friends’ couches.

    He also explains the root cause of this rise in homelessness in IDS’ welfare reforms, caps on housing benefit, and ‘affordable rents’ which are anything but. He believes that neither party wishes to tackle the true extent of this problem, as they are either in the pocket of the landlords or landlords themselves. And the problem will get worse with the continued destruction of council housing at proper social rents, as well as IDS’ plans to sell off council houses completely.

  15. The 8th of April 2015 shall Mark the 2nd Anniversary of the Death of the Tyrant and Traitor Margaret Thatcher in 2013 .

    From Snatching Milk from Children Thatcher’s Life of Crime in Politics Included as Prime Monster Instilling Selfishness with ” There is No such Thing as Society ” Kowtowing to Neo Liberalism Selling the Country Down the River with the Single European Act amongst other Atrocities .

    Associating with Jimmy Savile and being a Nasty Out of Touch Power Crazed Evil Bitch Britain is Better Off without Thatcher and Tory Nation Wreckers

    No Tears For Tyrants Tears For Victims of Thatcher’s and Tory Tyranny Instead

  16. Pingback: Take Action Against Soaring Homelessness: Support The March For The Homeless On April 15th | the void

  17. Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    So people truly believed in any statistics that were given out by this unelected coalition? I don’t know how anyone could actually admit to this – it’s a bloody joke. The tories have always, and will always be, the biggest load of “political” liars and thieves, as well as murderers, that exist in this country. I would go so far as to say that this “regime” we have been living under this last 5 years has been a greater threat to the ordinary Joe and Jane Bloggs of the UK, a greater threat than ISIS or any other terrorist organisation.
    If this lot get back in again in May, and get in with an outright win, then we deserve everything we get as we’ve had the last 5 years to do something, and we have sat on our arses and done nothing!

  18. Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs and commented:
    The majority of homeless people are not included in any figures, anywhere.

  19. Pingback: Over 90,000 Children Now In Temporary Accommodation As The Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse | the void

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