Looming housing crisis as a household made homeless every 3½ hours in 2021

New figures reveal there was a household made homeless every 3.5 hours in the first quarter of 2021, despite Covid emergency measures put in place.

New analysis published in The Big Issue (19 July) has revealed evictions and repossessions continued throughout lockdown, as campaigners called for urgent action to prevent an avalanche of homelessness this autumn once Covid-related support ends.

The Big Issue has pointed to a potential four-pronged attack on the public in the autumn, with an end to the Universal Credit uplift, an increase in eviction and repossessions taking place, an end to the furlough scheme and a predicted increase in the cost of electricity and gas price.

New analysis of official figures found that in the first quarter of 2021, there were 632 mortgage repossessions and rental evictions in the UK, meaning a new household was made homeless every 3 ½ hours.

The Big Issue has published a 9-point plan to help stop mass homelessness coupled with long-term proposals to support every household. Measures include introducing a system of means-tested grants or interest-free-loans to repay arrears and suspending no-fault evictions until a Renters’ Reform Act can be passed.

Lord John Bird, Founder and Editor-in-Chief at the Big Issue, said:

“Millions of people in this country are behind in household bills, half a million are in rent arrears and nearly 200,000 homeowners are in financial difficulty. ore people are at risk of homelessness now than at any time in living memory. Against a background of 1.9m jobs at risk of permanent loss from the pandemic, this should be ringing alarm bells throughout the country. k to support us when they put over 37,000 homeless people into accommodation in the first lockdown. We need a similar urgent approach to prevent an avalanche of homelessness this autumn.”

A campaign has been launched, encouraging the public to get involved by signing a petition and putting themselves forward as local campaign champions. Organisers are also asking people to write to their local politicians in support of the proposals.

Lord John Bird added:

“We need the public to start getting involved urgently by pressuring the government and local politicians to take this looming crisis seriously. The scale and potential impact of this crisis affects everyone in the UK.”

To sign up to be part of the campaign, visit www.bigissue.com/stop-mass-homelessness.

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