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A household becomes homeless every four minutes in England

Written by: Christina Hoghton
The staggering statistics highlights the housing emergency - and young people are worst affected

In the last year (to March 2019), one household became homeless every four minutes in England, said Shelter.

The charity added that new generation of young people and families are being hit by our housing emergency, with 56,440 young people aged 16 to 24 made homeless or threatened with homelessness in the last year.

Young people are disproportionately affected by homelessness. they represent a fifth (21%) of all applicants found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness in the last year, despite making up just 14% of the general population.

Why are people being made homeless?

Shelter found that a fifth (22%) of households found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness lost their last settled home due to the ending of a private rented tenancy.

A significant proportion – 28% – of households were living in a private rented home – this is the most common type of accommodation to live in at the time of applying for homelessness support.

And more than a quarter (27%) of applicants for support are currently in work.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: “During a year where Brexit negotiations have totally dominated the political agenda, catastrophic numbers of people have become homeless. While the housing crisis is out of the spotlight, families with young children are trapped in grim temporary accommodation like B&Bs and shipping containers, and young people feel the damaging effects of growing up in a housing emergency.

“Cripplingly expensive private rents, frozen housing benefits, and lengthy waiting lists for social homes are pushing people to the sharp edge of a housing emergency which won’t go away without genuinely affordable homes.

“The government must invest in a new generation of social homes – 3 million more in 20 years – if they are to pull hundreds of thousands of people out of homelessness. And in the meantime, they must urgently increase housing benefit so that it covers at least the bottom third of private rents.”

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