Nearly 400 households become homeless every day in England 

Posted 27 Jan 2022

New government figures released today, paint a bleak picture of homelessness in England. Containing the first three full months’ worth of data after the eviction ban was lifted, the new statistics show 397 households became homeless every day between July and September 2021. A total of 36,510 households were tipped into homelessness – equivalent to a town the size of Burnley.  

With its emergency helpline already under pressure, Shelter is warning that a further deluge of homelessness lies ahead. Now that other Covid protections, such as the £20 boost to Universal Credit and furlough are also gone, and energy and fuel bills are surging, the charity is bracing itself to help people with nowhere else to turn.  

Worryingly, the government’s homelessness data also revealed: 

  • More people are facing homelessness as a result of the loss of a private rental. The loss of a private tenancy was given as the reason 20% of all households were found to be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by their council (13,570 households). This has increased by 42% in a year and is returning to pre-pandemic levels. 

  • 4,440 households were threatened with homelessness after receiving a Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notice from their landlord – a 33% rise on the previous quarter.  

  • More people are facing homelessness as a result of domestic abuse during the pandemic.  Fleeing domestic abuse was given as the reason 13% of all households were found to be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by their council (8,850 households). This has increased by 6% in a year, and 27% since 2019.  

  • Since the start of the pandemic a total of 222,360 households have been tipped into homelessness – equivalent to a city the size of Liverpool. 

Shelter is calling on the public to support its frontline workers as they work seven days a week to help as many people as possible to find or keep hold of a safe home. In the first three weeks of January alone, the charity’s free emergency helpline received more than 21,500 calls from people in need of urgent support and advice. Of those calling, 73 per cent were already homeless or at risk.  

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Last summer, even with some Covid protections still in place, nearly 400 households a day were thrown into homelessness. Now, living costs are spiralling and all the protections are gone, even more people will be exposed to homelessness. 

“The advisers working on our emergency helpline can hear the sheer panic in people’s voices as they ring up desperate to keep a safe roof over their heads. The stress and uncertainty of the situation seeps into every part of a person’s or family’s life. 

“The end of the eviction ban has triggered a rising tide of homelessness that could turn into a flood. No-one should have to face homelessness alone, which is why we urgently need the public’s support so that we can keep picking up the phone and give anyone who needs it free and expert help.”  

To donate to Shelter’s Urgent Appeal and help to give thousands of people fighting homelessness the support, security and hope they need, visit shelter.org.uk/donate. Anyone who is facing homelessness can get free and expert advice from Shelter by visiting www.shelter.org.uk/get_help.   

Notes to editors:

  • 36,510 households approached their local council and were found to be homeless between July and September 2021. This is available at: DLUHC, Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table A1 

  • The number of households who became homeless per day in the last quarter is calculated by dividing the total number of days from 1st July to 30th September (92) by the number of households that were owed a relief duty in the same period. 36,510 households were owed a relief duty from July to September 2021. This is available at DLUHC, Statutory Homelessness Live tables, Initial assessments of statutory homelessness duties owed, Table A1 4,440 households were owed a prevention duty due to being served with a valid Section 21 notice, compared to 3,340 in the previous quarter. 

  • These figures are taken from DLUHC, Statutory Homelessness Live tables, Number of households by initial assessment of homelessness circumstances and needs, Table A1. 

  • The total number of households who are facing homelessness as a result of the end of a private tenancy during the pandemic is all households who approached their local authority as a result of the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and were found to be owed a prevention or relief duty. This was 13,570 from July to September 2021. These figures are available at DLUHC, Statutory Homelessness Live tables, Reason for threat of loss of last settled home and reason for loss of last settled home, Tables A2P and A2R. 

  • The total number of households who are facing homelessness as a result of domestic abuse during the pandemic is all households who approached their local authority as a result of their home being lost or threatened due to domestic abuse and were found to be owed a prevention or relief duty. This was 8,850 from July to September 2021. These figures are available at DLUHC, Statutory Homelessness Live tables, Reason for threat of loss of last settled home and reason for loss of last settled home, Tables A2P and A2R. 

  • The total number of households who have been tipped into homelessness since the start of the pandemic includes all households who have been owed a relief duty since April 2020 (222,360). A small number of households may be double counted across quarters where an initial decision was subject to review or where a household has made a new application. These figures are available at DLUHC, Statutory Homelessness Live tables, Initial assessments of statutory homelessness duties owed, Table A1. 

  • Total number of households in Burnley is 37,085 and in Liverpool is 220,388. These figures are available at ONS, Subnational estimates of households by tenure, 2012-2019, Table 1a. 

About Shelter: Shelter exists to defend the right to a safe home and fight the devastating impact the housing emergency has on people and society. Shelter believes that home is everything. Learn more at www.shelter.org.uk.