What is the housing emergency?

17.5 million people are denied a safe, stable home. This is the housing emergency.

  • Thousands of people sleep on the streets on any given night

  • Over 250,000 people are homeless, stuck in temporary accommodation, such as hostels and bed and breakfasts

  • in total, 17.5 million people are impacted by the housing emergency – living in overcrowded, dangerous, unstable or unaffordable housing.

It's more than street homelessness

Day in day out, we see people living and sometimes tragically dying on our streets. But homelessness also means people without a permanent home. This could mean living in cramped and unstable temporary accommodation: in hostels, bed and breakfasts or sofa-surfing.

It's the broken housing system

Successive governments have failed to provide the good quality, stable social housing people need, leaving millions shut out and struggling to find a secure home. People are crammed into unsafe housing – places that are riddled with mould or damp that makes them sick. Private renting lacks regulation, leaving renters facing insecurity, the threat of unfair eviction and unsustainably high rents. And when people struggle, our welfare system is too weak to support them.

A woman walking outside a building.

Penny is a carer for her husband Paul. Last year they were served an eviction notice and their landlord raised the rent.

Every day I look, every day. And it's always the same thing. It's either a shower over the bath, there's no outside space, it's on a main road, it's on the first or second floor, or it's too expensive. It’s a constant anxiety. I wake up every morning, and think, 'I need to move. Where on earth am I going to move to?'

It's unjust

Discrimination is a real problem. People on low incomes or receiving benefits, people of colour, those with a disability, refugees and single parents, or people who are LGBTQ+ are more likely to be affected by the housing emergency - leading to homelessness for some.

The fight for home starts now.

We’re campaigning for social justice and a fairer housing system – one with more social homes, better renters' rights and a stronger welfare system that supports people through tough times. We’ll never give up. We believe that home is everything.

Denied the right to a safe home: exposing the housing emergency

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More about the housing emergency

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