What causes homelessness?
Homelessness isn't just sleeping on the streets. It also means people without a permanent home. This could mean living in unsuitable temporary accomodation in hostels or bed and breakfasts or sofa-surfing.
Why do people become homeless?
The pressure of private renting
Eviction from a privately rented home is one of the leading causes of homelessness. Short contracts, unfair evictions, and sky-high rents mean people struggle to keep a roof over their head.
Shandor and his son Billy were evicted after their landlord died.
Not only did I lose a good friend I was just thinking ‘What happens now, where am I going to sleep? Where am I going to shower? Where am I going to cook? Where’s my son going to go….I couldn’t see beyond the end of the day.
The lack of social housing
You can’t solve homelessness without homes. Across the country, there is a chronic shortage of social housing because, for decades, successive governments have failed to build enough. This has left millions of people and countless communities without access to secure, long-term homes with rent they can afford.
Unexpected life events
A relationship breakdown, losing a job, or physical or mental health problems might disrupt your life. And without a stable home or a fair welfare system to support you through tough times, an unexpected life event can be all it takes for the pressure to pile up and for you to lose your home.
When Sarah's mother died unexpectedly, she and her children were evicted from her mother's social home and became homeless.
The whole family was devastated. But before I’d even had chance to grieve, I had another battle on my hands. The housing association wanted to evict us from the property, and claimed they had no duty to house me and my son.
Discrimination and inequality
If you’re LGBTQ+ or a person of colour, you’re more likely to struggle to find a safe, stable home. If you’re leaving prison, the care system, the army, are a refugee, are experiencing domestic abuse or receive benefits – you are often at greater risk of homelessness.