The Homelessness Monitor: England 2019 is the eighth annual report of an independent study, commissioned by Crisis and funded by Crisis, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, of the homelessness impacts of recent economic and policy developments in England.
- With the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act in April 2018, and the Rough Sleeping Strategy in Summer 2018, the findings reflect a modest – but palpable – sense of relief, amongst both local authorities and key informants at these policy developments.
- 71% of local authorities participating in this year’s survey reported that homelessness had been recently increasing.
- The rise since 2010 in the number of households made homeless by the ending of private tenancies seems to have peaked but homelessness temporary accommodation placements have continued to rise.
- After rapid growth since 2010 rough sleeping appears to have levelled-off in England but is rising in three of England’s four broad regions, including London, Birmingham and Manchester, and amongst Central and Eastern European migrants.
- Very few local authority respondents believed that existing social housing provision in their area is commensurate with homelessness needs. There were also widespread anxieties about ongoing changes to housing association tenancy allocation policies impeding local authorities’ ability to resolve homelessness.
- Private rents seem to be falling in real terms across the country, but rising in London. Affordability in the sector seems to be improving, and repossessions falling, but growth in the sector has exposed many more low-income households to higher housing costs.
- The safety net once provided by Housing Benefit, whereby post housing incomes were protected from erosion below basic benefit levels, has now effectively ended for the bulk of private tenants in receipt of benefit across the country.
- There is considerable concern amongst local authority respondents of the ongoing expected impact of welfare reform on homelessness in their area.
- There is encouraging evidence that the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) is enabling councils to help more people in housing need.