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Homelessness on the Rise in the UK

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Homelessness on the Rise in the UK

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Homelessness in every form has dramatically increased in recent years, costing the United Kingdom’s public sector in excess of $1.6 billion per year, a report from the nation’s government said.

Figures from the National Audit Office show that an estimated 4,134 were forced to sleep outside during the average autumn night in 2016—up 16 percent over the previous year.

One reason for the growing problem is rising rent costs. Citing a report from the charity Shelter, The Guardian wrote: “More than a million households living in private rented accommodation are at risk of becoming homeless by 2020 because of rising rents, benefit freezes and a lack of social housing…”

On top of sleeping on the streets, the number of those in other homeless situations is also growing. The charity Crisis reported that among British households in 2016:

  • 68,300 were sofa surfing
  • 19,300 were living in unsuitable temporary accommodations
  • 37,200 were living in hostels

In addition, 26,000 households were living in other circumstances, including:

  • 8,900 sleeping in tents, cars or on public transport
  • 12,100 squatting on a property they did not own
  • 5,000 in women’s refuges or winter night shelters

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