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Short term savings will increase homelessness, charity warns

“Over the next few years many vulnerable people will be hit by a triple threat of rising rents, lower housing benefit and the loss of benefits under the universal credit system if they do not go into work – all leading to a very real threat of homelessness. The people we see want to work but are often simply not able; they have other barriers to overcome first such as physical or mental health problems,” said Acting CEO of Providence Row, Lisa Harrison.

“The government has pledged to protect the most vulnerable in society and slowing down the introduction of these cuts could achieve that. Too deep too soon might well mean an increase in homelessness paired with a reduction in funding for those that help the most vulnerable in our society.”

Increased homelessness will cost the taxpayer and the state more as the government tries to reduce the deficit. Limited access to local GPs often means that minor illnesses become major ones and result in expensive treatments at A&E. Emergency accommodation is also expensive: it costs over £400 per week to house one person in a hostel and with a lack of affordable private rentals for people to move into this bill looks set to rise.

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