Types of Homelessness

Jul 28, 2021
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Rough Sleeping

An estimated 4,751 people were sleeping rough in England on a single night in the Autumn of 2017. This was up by 15% in 2016 (source: Rough Sleepers Statistics Autumn 2017, England).

The full picture of rough sleeping across the UK is unknown. The Rough Sleeping Count gives an estimated snapshot of rough sleeping. The UK Statistics Authority was highly critical of these statistics, stating that they did not meet the required standards to be designated as ‘National Statistics’. (Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, 2015).


Temporary Accommodation 

78,930 households were in temporary accommodation on 31 December 2017. 60,520 of these households included dependent children and/or pregnant women. There were 120,510 children or expected children within these families.

The length of time people can stay in temporary accommodation can range from a single night to indefinite. There are several different types of temporary accommodation:

  • night/winter shelters
  • hostels
  • B&Bs
  • woman’s refuges
  • private and social housing

Each type of temporary accommodation has its own rules on access and lengths of stay and may not always be appropriate for the individuals staying in them.

Hidden Homelessness 

62% of respondents were hidden homeless on the day they were surveyed and 92% had experienced hidden homelessness (source: The hidden truth about homelessness, 2011).

The majority of homeless people are hidden from statistics and services as they are dealing with their situation informally. This means staying with family and friends, sofa surfing, and living in unsuitable housing such as squats or in ‘beds in shed’ situations (The Homelessness Monitor: England 2018). All these situations leave the person extremely vulnerable. The majority of the hidden homeless will have slept rough at some time (The hidden truth about homelessness, 2011). 

Statutory Homelessness 

When approaching local authorities for support those deemed in ‘priority need’ are described as being statutory homeless because they are owed a duty by their local authority. In the 2016/17 financial year, there were 59,110 households accepted as in priority need (Statutory homelessness, October to December 2017 DCLG). 

Please donate today and help more people out of homelessness and into long-term stability: Give Monthly (greaterchange.co.uk)

Source: Crisis, UK

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