Homeless people being denied access to housing

Homeless charity Crisis has warned that 26,000 single, homeless people are trapped in a cycle of homelessness, unable to access housing.

Moving On: Improving access for single homeless people in England analyses the barriers to housing encountered by adults who typically fall outside the protection of the current homelessness legislation because they are deemed low priority.

Crisis warns that social lettings to single homeless people in England have dropped by a third from 19,000 a year in 2007-08 to just 13,000 in 2015-16. Unwilling landlords, welfare reforms and high up-front costs leave many ‘trapped with no way out of homelessness’.

The charity says that recent government social housing initiative will help some, but rules on housing eligibility that shut out many homeless people need to be tackled alongside the plan. The report calls for blanket housing register exclusions to be scrapped, and powers for councils to build new homes at social rent level.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive at Crisis, said: “As the supply of social housing in England has shrunk, and fewer new tenants get access to social rented housing, the effect on single homeless people has been devastating. To make matter worse, restricted eligibility for social housing is trapping more and more people in a cycle of homelessness that they have no route out of, and this just isn’t right.

“We know that homelessness is not inevitable. With the right assistance, single homeless people can successfully secure a home to help them rebuild their lives. That’s why we’re calling on the government to end the use of blanket restrictions that mean people who desperately need a home aren’t denied the help they need. We’re glad to see that the government has announced an initiative to build more social housing. But we must make sure that enough of these homes are built to truly address our homelessness crisis, and to ensure people in the most vulnerable circumstances have access to them.”