Government And Homeless Reduction Act Failing The Homeless
Many PRS landlords are ‘jumping ship’ because of the surfeit of imposed regulations, tax changes and more costs reducing their profits, even potential investors are deciding against joining the sector; all of which has impacted on the availability of rented homes at an alarming rate throughout the UK.
Obviously the fall in affordable rental housing stock is not helping councils in their fight against homelessness and simply cannot cope with demand, leaving people with no roof over their heads and having to sleep on the streets.
Despite introducing the government’s Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) which came into force in April 2018, around 38% of people who asked their council for help in finding them cheap housing, either had no option but to become homeless or remained on the streets as the authorities did not have sufficient affordable housing stock.
Crisis the homelessness charity is stating that its latest report found that nearly 4 out of 10 people are being let down when asking authorities to be housed in cheaper accommodation.
The research was based on the charity’s 984 strong survey and in-depth interviews with 89 homeless people and shows how the HRA has performed since 2018.
The HRA was introduced to stop people from becoming homeless and the report does show that there has been an increase of people with housing difficulties being able to access help.
However there is just not enough supply which coupled together with rising rents has put this out of reach of many people whose wages and or benefits have been outstripped by the increase in housing costs.
Crisis is saying that more must be done to make sure that the HRA will substantially reduce and finally end homelessness throughout England.
Crisis chief executive, John Sparkes, said: “It’s deeply distressing that, across England, councils are being forced to leave the people they are trying to help on the streets or drifting from sofa to sofa – all because they cannot find somewhere safe and affordable for them to live. The HRA has made some good progress in preventing people from becoming homeless, but it’s worrying to see that it’s being constrained by a chronic lack of housing and cuts to housing benefit.
“The HRA can be at the heart of ending homelessness for good, as this report shows, but this is only possible if councils are properly resourced and have the tools, they need to help people leave homelessness behind for good.
“It’s vital that the government gets to grips with the root causes pushing people into homelessness in the first place, this means ensuring more social homes are built across the country and that housing benefit is restored to truly cover the cost of rent. Only when these measures are in place will we be able to unleash the full potential of the HRA.”
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