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Charity claims rent rises contribute to homelessness problem

The charity Crisis says rising rents are a contributing factor to the homelessness crisis.

The comment come as  new data from the Office for National Statistics  show 741 people died while homeless in England and Wales during 2021; this follows on from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) who yesterday released their data for 2021 reporting that 250 people died while homeless in Scotland.  

Responding to the figures Matt Downie, Crisis chief executive, says: “Behind each of these statistics is a human being; an individual who tragically spent their last moments homeless. We know that being homeless often means feeling like you have nowhere to go and no one to turn to. It’s difficult to bear, but that will have been the experience of some of the real people behind these figures.  


“There is no excuse for this shameless suffering. For years we have been calling on the UK Government to expand the safeguarding system used to investigate the deaths of vulnerable adults to include everyone who has died while street homeless. This must be acted upon so we can learn lessons from these tragic deaths.  

“Our services are gearing up for an incredibly challenging winter, with thousands facing the brutality of homelessness as the rising cost of living pushes them to breaking point. These dire economic times must not lead to more people falling through the cracks and dying needlessly on our streets.  

“We can stop this before it’s too late. We desperately need more social homes and for the UK Government to invest in housing benefit so it covers the true cost of rents. Only decisive action will ensure everyone has a safe place to call home and prevent more loss of life in the future.” 

The charity is warning that demand for its services is increasing and shows no sign of abating as rents have risen at their fastest rate for 16 years across England, while in Wales less than one per cent of private rented homes are affordable to people on housing benefit. This, the charity says, will see more and more households pushed into poverty as they struggle to keep up with the rising cost of living. 

It says it’s preparing for "an incredibly busy winter.”

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    Good to see that the issue here is identified as a lack of social housing rather than bashing PRS LLs. The Government needs to take the blame as rents skyrocket. Their policies are driving LLs out of the market which is reducing the PRS and thereby is exacerbating the problem - its not greedy LLs!

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    Agree Sandra, but that sensible approach doesn’t grab the headlines…. And Gove likes a good headline. I still see him coming after us some more.

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    Unfortunately very sad to see those figures RIP.
    Mr Michael Gove has contributed to this driving out private landlords that house so many how can this help the homeless.
    I don’t expect tho government to ever have enough free housing, when do we ever have 2.9 million single Parents before, encouraged by system.

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    Rising rents caused largely by various Govt policies over the last few decades?

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    Crisis emphasise the lack of social housing is the cause of homelessness but also links it to rising rents. This is simply wrong. If rising rents was the issue we would see swathes of empty houses. We don't!

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    Neither this government or labour will increase LHA as they would see this as feeding the big bad landlords, well that's fine I don't want their money, I like most others will stick to working people who pass affordability checks, we are not charities the homeless are the responsibility of local and central government.


    I think LHA rises actually feed rent rises. I do not want to let to people who are not working so I keep my rents above LHA. When there was a big rise in LHA during covid I suddenly found LHA had caught up to my rents so I put them up!

  • David Lester

    George Osborne has made more people homeless that any other politician with his Section 24!

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    I do a certain amount of letting at LHA level but after lengthy freezes in LHA it is completely unsustainable to continue at that level. I regard my portfolio as an entity and to a certain degree it cross subsidises itself. If I don't charge a viable rent to one person I need to charge more than is strictly fair to someone else. Why should students or hard working young professionals pay more just because the government have chosen to freeze LHA?
    As even Social tenants are facing 7% increases this year I think it is only fair to increase my LHA rents by at least 7%. It still wouldn't bring them up to market rent but would be better than nothing. Some of those tenants will get Discretionary Housing Payment top ups anyway so quite why the government doesn't just restore LHA to the 30th percentile is beyond me.


    Government fix LHA but we chose the rents we charge, there is normally a very big difference

  • jeremy clarke

    We have always supported Crisis with their Christmas appeal but this year have advised them that we will no longer since their chairman chose to go public with his views on the PRS and landlords!


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