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Homelessness acceptances over time

Key points

  • 17,500 households were accepted as homeless by a council in London in 2014/15.
  • In 2014/15 4,800 households in London were found to be unintentionally homeless but not in priority need.
  • The number of households accepted as homeless in London peaked at 30,000 in 2003/04 but as an England-wide shift to a more proactive homelessness prevention approach took affect the number fell sharply to 9,400 in 2009/10. But since reaching this low, the number of homelessness acceptances in London rose in the five years to 2014/15.
  • In 2009/10 the most common reason a household became homeless was that family or friends were no longer willing/able to accommodation them, accounting for 4,200 acceptances, 44% of the total.
  • In 2009/10 930 households became homeless when a shorthold tenancy ended, 10% of the total. Since then the number becoming homeless for this reason is 7 times higher at 6,790 and is now the most common reason accounting for 39% of all homelessness acceptances.
  • Although the number of homelessness acceptances remained relatively flat in 2014/15, the number coming from a shorthold tenancy increased by 830, countered by a fall in the number becoming homeless for other reasons.

Homelessness acceptances over time

What does this graph show?

The graph shows that a total of 17,500 households were accepted as homeless by a council in London in 2014/15. A household is homeless if it is accepted as such by the council under the 1996 Housing Act. These households are classified as Statutory Homeless and the local authority has a duty to help them find settled accommodation.

To qualify people have to be able to prove they have a local connection to the area, are unintentionally homeless and are in priority need (i.e. belong to a vulnerable group; most working-age people without dependents will not qualify as in priority need). In 2014/15 4,800 households in London were found to be unintentionally homeless but not in priority need.

The number of households accepted as homeless in London peaked at 30,000 in 2003/04 but as an England-wide shift to a more proactive homelessness prevention approach took affect the number fell sharply to 9,400 in 2009/10. But since reaching this low, the number of homelessness acceptances in London rose in the five years to 2014/15.

The graph also shows how the reasons for homelessness have changed since it began to rise. In 2009/10 the most common reason a household became homeless was that family or friends were no longer willing/able to accommodation them, accounting for 4,200 acceptances, 44% of the total. Meanwhile 930 households became homeless when a shorthold tenancy ended, 10% of the total. Since then the number becoming homeless for this reason is 7 times higher at 6,790 and is now the most common reason accounting for 39% of all homelessness acceptances. Although the number of acceptances remained relatively flat in 2014/15, the number coming from a shorthold tenancy increased by 830, countered by a fall in the number becoming homeless for other reasons.

Data used

P1E Homelessness returns, DCLG; the data is for London.

Indicator last updated: 21 October 2015