A Londoner was forced to be homeless every 11 minutes

New analysis from the Single Homeless Project today reveals that a Londoner is forced into homelessness every 11 minutes, more single adults are being driven into urgent housing situations, and poor sleep continues to rise markedly.

The charity is calling for action on two major economic causes of homelessness in our capital – a disproportionately low benefit ceiling over London’s soaring rents and an incentive scheme that wastes public money and creates a climate for higher eviction rates. Due to the benefit ceiling, only four of London’s thirteen areas would see residents able to use their full universal credit allowance for bills and living expenses. Londoners in the remaining areas would have to use their Universal Credit to pay rent, and in four of the areas they would be left with only £ 3.72 to live on.

By combining statutory homelessness data from local authorities and the London-only CHAIN ​​figures on rough sleep levels for the first time, statistics show a more accurate picture of homelessness in the city.

A Londoner is forced into homelessness every 11 minutes (an increase of 16% from three years ago).
Single adults without dependents are the group most affected by acute homelessness, and they make up almost half of the people forced into homelessness. A single person is forced into homelessness every 20 minutes (an increase of 36% from three years ago).
Some are made homeless on the streets of London every 90 minutes (an increase of 44% from three years ago).

Low benefit levels compared to private sector rents contribute to the high number of Londoners in rent arrears. These unfair service levels, combined with a huge demand for private rental housing due to lack of affordable housing, mean that councils and charities have to resort to paying landlords millions of pounds in financial incentives just to accept people who experience homelessness as paying tenants. This wastes public money and creates a climate of higher eviction rates, where landlords are effectively motivated to either issue short-term leases or terminate long-term leases early to demand the next cash incentive for a subsequent tenant.

Liz Rutherfoord, CEO of Single Homeless Project said:
“Londoners are being set up to fail by unrealistic levels of housing subsidies and a ridiculous incentive scheme that creates a climate for high levels of eviction from private rental housing. Single adults are left to fight all alone with no statutory rights to be housed and insufficient benefits to cover the cost of living in London. We must build the right environment for everyone in our city to thrive, not waste public money on expensive, short-term solutions that benefit only a few.

“We know from our London-wide services that when you focus your efforts on long-term support, everyone wins. Our proven rental sustainability model means landlords achieve the financial stability that long-term tenants provide, tenants benefit from that support and security. , they need, and municipalities can be sure that public money is spent on a long-term solution that reduces homelessness .. Homelessness does not define you.It is an experience, not an eternity, and it can end with the right solutions. ”

The Single Homeless Project calls on the UK Government to:
Review of the benefit ceiling so that it is proportional to London’s rent levels.
Prohibit the practice of paying incentives to private landlords to accept tenants experiencing homelessness.
Reinvest the public money spent on incentives in tenancy maintenance programs, including debt and money management advice, mental health support, and landlord and tenant mediation when needed.

The table below shows the impact of the unfair benefit ceiling on Londoners compared to the UK’s next two largest cities. Due to the benefit ceiling, only four of London’s thirteen areas would see residents able to use their full universal credit allowance for bills and living expenses. Londoners in the remaining areas would have to use their Universal Credit to pay rent, and in four of the areas they would be left with only £ 3.72 to live on.

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