A new study has revealed that 200,000 households will experience the worst forms of homelessness this Christmas, including sleeping on the streets, hunkered down in sheds and garages, stuck in unstable accommodation such as B&Bs or sofa surfing.
A comprehensive annual study by homelessness charity Crisis and carried out by Heriot-Watt University, shows that for the last five years homelessness has been rising year on year, reaching a peak just before the pandemic when the numbers of homeless households jumped from 207,600 in 2018 to over 219,000 in 2019.
A slight reduction this year followed bold government action in response to the pandemic, but this effort ha dwindled, leaving one in 185 without a home.
With unemployment expecting to hit 2.6 million next year, Crisis has warned that progress on homelessness is at risk of being undone, and the charity is calling for a longer-term approach, starting with addressing the shortage of social housing and ensuring that housing benefit continues to cover the true cost of rents.
Picture: A homeless man in the streets of London.