In recent years, England has witnessed a distressing trend: an alarming increase in the number of working individuals and families facing homelessness. The struggle for affordable housing, coupled with lengthy council house waiting lists, has pushed many hardworking individuals to the brink of despair. The latest figures from a recent blog by ITV reveal a staggering 8.1% rise in homelessness among the working population in the past year alone. This blog aims to shed light on this growing crisis, share real-life stories, and emphasise the urgent need for concerted action to address this pressing issue.
The harsh reality:
Behind the statistics in this article by ITV, lie countless personal stories of individuals like Nicole, a dedicated full-time support worker, who finds herself moving from hostel to hostel due to the fiercely competitive rental market and exorbitant costs. Each day becomes a challenging juggling act as she wakes up in a temporary shelter, stores her belongings, goes to work, and then scrambles to find accommodation for the night. Nicole’s experience is not isolated; many others find themselves caught in the same disheartening and distraught cycle.
Lisa and Lee Costigan’s story further illustrates the depth of the crisis. Despite both working diligently, they have been forced to live in a cramped caravan with their children due to unaffordable rents and the scarcity of social housing options. Their living conditions are far from adequate, and they face immense challenges in providing a safe and comfortable environment for their family.
The numbers speak:
The statistics within the article reveal a troubling reality. Among households that fell into homelessness in 2022, a staggering one in four had at least one employed individual. This translates to 72,790 households where someone with a full or part-time job experienced homelessness or was at risk of it. The situation is particularly dire for those working full time, as the number of individuals facing homelessness at the end of 2022 increased by 22% compared to two years ago.
The urgent need for action:
It is evident that the government’s allocation of funds to prevent and address homelessness, while commendable, falls short of meeting the pressing needs of those at risk of losing their homes.
Since 2000, successive governments have known that too few homes are being built and set a target of 250,000 new homes annually. Each year this target is missed. We are now short of around 1.5 million homes.
The government miss their 250,000 new homes target each year since 2000 and now we’re short 1.5m homes so it’s not surprise the risk of homelessness is going up.
Source for the above data here.
As an organisation dedicated to tackling this crisis, National Housing Group is actively collaborating with housing associations, councils, and charities to provide affordable housing solutions. Through our efforts, we have successfully housed hundreds of individuals in permanent accommodation, and we have plans to continue to do so.
However, it is crucial that we collectively recognise the gravity of the situation and take immediate action. The rising numbers of working homeless should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers, community leaders, and society as a whole. We must prioritise the provision of affordable housing and develop comprehensive strategies to address the underlying factors contributing to this crisis.
The plight of working homelessness in England demands urgent attention and action. Behind the statistics are stories of real people struggling to find stability and security. It is our collective responsibility to advocate for affordable housing, support organisations similar to us at the National Housing Group, and work toward comprehensive solutions that ensure no one is left without a roof over their head.
By raising awareness, amplifying the voices of those affected, and pressuring policymakers to enact meaningful change, we can pave the way for a future where every individual and family has access to safe, affordable, and permanent housing. Let us unite in our commitment to end working homelessness and create a society that values the fundamental right to a home for all.