What is the main cause of homelessness?

Evicted at the end of your tenancy? You're not alone

The list of ways that you can become homeless is almost endless – and only a few misfortunes separate anyone from spending time on the streets. Whether it be substance abuse or addiction, or mental health problems, or unemployment, homelessness can be the end result without the right support.

But what is one of the main causes? The answer, in part, lies in the end of shorthold tenancy.

Between 2016 and 2017, a total of 59,090 households were accepted as homeless by their local councils across the UK – 22 per cent more than five years previously.

Among the most popular reasons for homelessness were parents no longer able to or willing to provide accommodation, which was the case for 8,520 households, while domestic violence affected 6,580 households. Non-violent relationship breakdowns accounted for 2,900 households while mortgage or rent arrears made up just 360 of the total figure.

Other reasons that were not listed in the National Audit Office research explained 9,190 households being classed as homeless by local authorities.

But a staggering 31 per cent of these were down to the loss of a private tenancy with 18,750 households left nowhere to go after being evicted.


If you pay for the magazine you should always take it. Vendors are working for a hand up, not a handout.

The number of households affected by this has also skyrocketed, accounting for 78 per cent of the rise of homelessness since 2011.

The problem is particularly prevalent in London with a rise from 10 per cent to 39 per cent during the same period while the rest of England saw a 74 per cent growth in the households who qualify for temporary accommodation since 2009-10.

Around five million UK households, or 21 per cent of the total, are currently in private rented accommodation, according to YouGov, with a quarter of that figure including families with children.

This is double the number a decade ago and set to rise to 5.79 million in the next five years as more and more Brits struggle to afford to buy property of their own.

With the UK government pledging to build 300,000 new homes every year in a bid to solve the housing crisis as well as pledging to eradicate rough sleeping by 2027, perhaps the growing private mental market is worthy of some attention to give Sajid Javid a chance of hitting that target.

The Big Issue magazine launched in 1991 in response to the growing number of rough sleepers on the streets of London, by offering people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income through selling a magazine to the public. Twenty-five years on, our vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and face the myriad of problems associated with poverty and inequality.

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