Architects’ ingenuity gives Julia Park reasons to be hopeful despite digging through some depressing stats
Shelter’s latest report on homelessness, published soon after the damning United Nations assessment of poverty in Britain, makes sobering reading. Revealing that at least 320,000 people are homeless in Britain today, it also acknowledges that the real figure including the “hidden homeless” (such as “sofa surfers” and those living in garden sheds) is substantially higher and that the problem is worsening.
The government tends to use different metrics and its latest figures for England appear to show an improving situation. Some 26,400 households made a homelessness application to their local authority in the first quarter of 2018, which is 7% lower than the same period (January to March) the previous year.
Dig a bit deeper and you find that only just over half of those households (13,740) were accepted as being “statutorily homeless”. The other 48% were evidently considered not homeless enough, based on the statutory test.
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