Causes of homelessness for households, couples and single people as seen at BHT’s Advice Centres

This is an edited extract from evidence submitted by BHT to Parliament’s Communities and Local Government Committee. The evidence provided is from our advice services in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, of 298 people or households who approached us where their primary issue was current homelessness. The data used is from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.

Summary

64% were single men or single women. The main cause of homelessness was parents, relatives and friends asking our clients to leave the property (29%), of which 59% had been asked to leave by friends and relatives.  25 were homelessness due to domestic violence.  One fifth of the clients were. homeless due to the end of their Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This was the case for 24 families with children and 25 single people.

Single people

Of the 192 single people 14% were rough sleeping when we first saw them and we do not have a cause of their homelessness.

By far the highest cause of homelessness for single men and women was that friends or relatives were unwilling to accommodate them. 31% of the 192 people were homeless because friends or family could no longer accommodate them due to a lifestyle clash, lack of money, overcrowding or just no longer able to accommodate them.

19% were homeless due to the breakdown of a relationship; this was either a non-violent breakdown or the breakdown of a relationship with a violent partner or the breakdown of a violent relationship with an associated person.

13% of single people were homeless due to ending of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST).

In 17% of the cases clients reported that they been evicted from a hostel, supported accommodation or temporary accommodation. This would be due to alleged non-payment of rent or their behaviour has not complied with the terms of their licence.

A very small number of clients reported that they were homeless after leaving prison, hospital or another type of institution.

Adult Households

There were 32 adult households, for example a parent and an adult child. There was a spread across the causes of homelessness. 31% were due to the end of an assured shorthold tenancy – 4 households where the AST was ended due to rent arrears, 4 where the reasons were not known and 2 where the landlord was selling the property.

28% of homelessness was caused by the breakdown in a relationship. 4 of these were a non-violent breakdown and in 5 the breakdown was due to violence.

Couples without children

There were only 13 couples without children who came for advice on homelessness. 5 of these couples were homeless because family or friends could not accommodate them. For two of the couples lifestyle clash was reported as the reason they had to leave their parents’ home.

Couples with children

There were 14 couples with children. The main cause of homelessness for these families (3) was that friends and relatives could not accommodate them any longer, for 2 other families they could no longer remain in their parents’ home due to overcrowding.

Single parent families

Of the 47 single parent families (male and female), 43% of these families were facing homelessness due to the end of their Assured Shorthold Tenancies including 5 due to rent arrears. A fifth of these families were facing homelessness because they could no longer remain with relatives, friends or in the parental home. 7 of the families had to leave the parental home due to overcrowding.

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