Thursday, 05 March 2015

Homelessness applications rise

Homeless applicants were up 15 per cent on the same quarter last year, according to government statistics.

Communities and Local Government department figures, released on Thursday last week, show more than 10,870 applicants were accepted as owed a main homelessness duty during October to December 2010. This was similar to the previous quarter.

Households in temporary accommodation on 31 December were 10 per cent lower than the same time last year, at 48,010.

The number of households in bed and breakfast accommodation was up from 1,880 in December last year to 2,310 in December this year, 5 per cent higher. The percentage of households leaving temporary accommodation, who had been in such arrangements for less than six months, has increased from 56 per cent to 66 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.

The CLG data was released on the same day housing charity Shelter highlighted a Council of Mortgage Lenders survey of 1,500 UK homeowners, which suggested one in four people who own their own homes could be unprepared for the costs of rising interest rates.

A quarter of people in the survey believed current interest rates are either higher, the same that they have been in the past or did not know what they were.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: ‘It is frightening to think so many homeowners are completely unaware that interest rates are at a record low. We are extremely concerned that millions will be financially unprepared when interest rates go up and won’t have plans in place to manage increased costs.

‘Even for those who have been managing to stay afloat so far, we know only too well that just a small increase in some people’s monthly outgoings will be the trigger that finally pushes them over the edge into a spiral of debt, repossession and possible homelessness.’

The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee met last week to decide whether the current low interest rates should go up, but left the rate at 0.5 per cent for another month.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Arthur Brown

    So, how does one "prepare for rising interest rates" when most workers have their salaries frozen, moving jobs is almost impossible and may of us have joblessness on the horizon. It's not that millions of us are "financially unprepared" but it's more of a case that millions of us have nothing spare to prepare with.

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  • Melvin Bone

    I agree F&L. Thanks to the wonderfous fiscal policies of the last government we seem to be in a never ending tunnel of doom.

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  • Everything is going to plan for the Coalition. Repossessed homes at auction available nice and cheaply for private landlords, any remaining equity from those who have been deprived of their homes creamed off by the banks and estate agents, desperate households forced to live in poor quality, insecure, over priced privately rented property (underpinned by landlord subsidies through LHA not available to owner occupiers and by tax breaks on any mortgage interest, similarly only available to landlords and not owner occupiers).

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  • Nicole M

    The only way to 'prepare for rising interest rates' is to purchase a property that you can afford not only at the time you buy it, but in a future scenario when interest rates are higher. Unfortunately a lot of people don't seem to have done this, and have bought a house that they could barely afford when the base rate was abnormally low, with no thought to what they'd do if the rate rose. There could be a lot of repossessions on the horizon if rates go up 2 or 3 percent, which looking back at rates historically, is quite likely.

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  • * +

    This story is a bit one's all very well talking about people being unprepared for interest rate rises, but what about people who were prepared, but find themselves now without a job? MRP insurers will do all that they can to avoid paying out and the mortage rescue scheme is not a catch all. Private rents in many areas are now sufficiently high that the rent will be as high, if not higher than a mortgage

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  • Rosa makes a valid point in so much as people perhaps do need to think ahead BUT in many cases they have had few choices - pay a mortgage or pay a lot more in rent (i.e. landlord's mortgage plus profit plus more profit) to get a place to live. What really is needed is the same level of safety net extended to tenants to be extended to owner occupiers who fall on hard times.

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  • It's scarcely surprising that more people find themselves becoming homeless in the middle of an economic slump. Expect those numbers to grow, along with unemployment, substance misuse and instances of mental ill health, the longer the recession lasts. It's the elephant in the room amid all the vacuous talk of the "Big Society" and "voluntarism" alongside the politics of austerity - cuts and job losses breed poverty, homelessness, and associated social pathologies.

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  • Chris

    Rising unemployment
    Rising homelessness
    Increasing gap between rich and poor
    Decreasing workers rights
    Decreasing access to the law
    Decreasing pay

    Either its a Tory Government or someone let Blair back in disguised as a full Tory and calling himself Cameron.

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