No-fault evictions more than double in the last year – Crisis responds

New UK government statistics released today (22nd September) show that 19,790 households in England faced homelessness in the last financial year after receiving a no-fault eviction notice, a 121% increase on the previous year.

The statistics show that between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, 290,170 families and individuals sought help with homelessness from their local authority. While this is a similar level to the previous year, there was an increase in households coming from the private rented sector, 74,690 in total, 53% higher than the year before.

Far more people were facing homelessness because of the end of an assured shorthold private tenancy. 32,670 households sought help because their landlord chose to sell or re-let their property, a 108% rise on the previous year. And 10,740 households asked for help due to rent arrears, 42% more than the previous year.

All this suggests that the end of protections put in place during the pandemic in 2021, and the emerging cost of living crisis in 2022, are putting more people at risk of homelessness.

Matt Downie, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “At a time when the cost-of-living crisis is hitting households, it’s deeply worrying that people are being forced from their homes, through no fault of their own, and plunged into instability, unable to afford somewhere to live.

“What is clear is that housing is unaffordable for too many, with rising homelessness among people in the private rented sector and more people facing homelessness because of rent arrears. This, coupled with a lack of social housing, forces people on low incomes into insecure and uncertain living situations, unable to move on with their lives. 

“This is a time of crisis, yet these statistics only cover the first months of the rising cost-of-living. The pressure on households is intensifying and people enduring financial distress are worrying about how long they’ll be able to keep a roof over their heads.

“Our message to the Government is loud and clear, action must be taken now to prevent homelessness. This week’s budget must include plans to invest in housing benefit so it covers the true cost of renting. Going forward the Prime Minister must commit to introducing the Renters Reform Bill, to help give renters proper protection from being hit with a no-fault eviction and set out a clear plan to provide genuinely affordable homes. Only through such decisive action can thousands more people be protected from homelessness in the coming months.”