Homelessness on the rise as cuts bite

Homelessness and levels of rough sleeping are increasing as a result of deep cuts to hostel and housing services, according to a survey of homeless charities, Homeless Watch, a survey of needs and provisions 2012. The survey carried out in November 2011 by the charity, Homeless Link, finds that:

  • on average, the numbers of people attending a day centre are up by a quarter on 2010
  • on any one night, 80 per cent of accommodation services surveyed did not have an empty bed for new people
  • more than half of all homeless projects reported funding cuts in 2011/12
  • the numbers accepted as homeless by local authorities was 14 per cent higher in 2011 than 2010
  • the numbers recorded as sleeping rough were 23 per cent higher in Autumn 2011 than in Autumn 2010.

In addition, the numbers of homeless people moving on to jobs and housing is falling. Of those services whose funding had been cut, 44 per cent said fewer clients were moving into jobs and 38 per cent said fewer were moving on into housing.

Local authority funding for homelessness support is being reduced, limiting the capacity of homelessness projects to provide services. These reductions reflect the decreased allocation of funding to local authorities from the government following the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, but also result from the earlier removal of the ring fence from Supporting People. The single biggest issue homeless services said they faced was a lack of local housing for clients to move into.

The report can be found on the Homeless Link website.