District Councils’ Network responds to annual homelessness statistics
Responding to the official annual homelessness statistics for 2020/21 published today, Cllr Phil King, DCN spokesperson for Better Lives, said:
“The Government’s interventions at the start of the pandemic and the support provided by district councils have protected families and helped to prevent and reduce homelessness.
“However, we have long-warned of the continued economic and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 on households. It’s clear that the rise in domestic abuse and mental health issues reported by our district teams on the frontline is a national trend.
“Rapidly unravelling the unprecedented level of support the Government rightly provided risks seeing a surge in households unable to pay their bills or rent. Nine in 10 district councils expect a wave of homelessness as a result of these measures being withdrawn too quickly.
“While they cannot remain forever, government should prioritise equipping district councils with the funding and flexibility to solve problems before they grow in impact and cost. Districts know better than anyone where hardship resides within their communities and can act swiftly to prevent crisis and tackle the root causes, if properly resourced.”