The large majority of homelessness in Britain doesn’t manifest as the stereotypical rough sleepers, but rather an increasing number of people being forced into (frequently dangerous) temporary accommodation of one sort of another - “a peripheral and fragile existence” to quote the Financial Times.

The FT goes on to reveal that Britain has an horrendously high rate of homelessness - “by far the highest rate…in the developed world”.

Bar chart captioned 'Britain has by far the highest rate of homelessness in the developed world

It was not always this way.

Line chart captioned 'Homelessness is rising rapidly in Britain

What happened? The FT puts it down to 3 key factors:

  • Absolutely inadequate rates of housebuilding.
  • An ever-diminishing social housing sector .
  • An erosion of financial support for folk who can’t afford the market rate for rents.

After all, whilst much fuss about housing benefits is often made in “anti-welfare” circles, last year the IFS determined that local housing allowance has now gotten so low in comparison to rent demands that any recipient of that benefit could not possibly afford 95% of the private rental properties listed on Zoopla.