Homeless and in priority need, plus rough sleepers
Services for the homeless
This short article contains information on the number of households accepted as homeless and in priority need in Lancashire between April 2013 and March 2014. The figures have been downloaded from the Department of Communities and Local Government website. The site has a 'live tables on homelessness' page (Table 784) that gives access to the homelessness figures that are published each year down to the local authority area level. Mention is also made of the households living in temporary accommodation results that are available from the same data source.
This article also highlights the rough sleepers figures that are available for Lancashire local authorities.
The information is used in the development of housing needs indices, responses to parliamentary questions and for policy development on housing issues. Local authorities also use the data for either management purposes or to assist the continued development of housing strategies.
Households accepted as homeless and in priority need
For England as a whole, the local authority with the largest number of households accepted as homeless and in priority need in the year to March 2014 was Birmingham with 3,160, well in excess of Newham in second place with 1,320 and Hackney in third with 906.
Table 1 reveals that in the 14-authority Lancashire area in 2013/14, there were 307 households accepted as homeless and in priority need that equates to just 0.6% of the England total of 52,260. South Ribble recorded the largest number with 52, followed by 46 in Preston. Chorley was the only authority in the country that returned a zero figure, whilst Lancaster was one of 10 authorities across the country with no result. Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Rossendale and Wyre all recorded less than 10, and no Lancashire authorities were ranked in the top 200 for the number per 1,000 households.
The Department for Communities and Local Government website details some of the initiatives that are in place to reduce levels of homelessness.
Table 1 Households accepted as homeless and in priority need, April 2013 to March 2014
*No percentage rates were available for 10 of the 326 local authorities in England. Chorley was the only authority to actually give a zero figure.
Households Living in Temporary Accommodation
Table 2 reveals a strong pattern of decline in the number of households classified as living in temporary accommodation between 2005/06 and 2010/11, but the last few years have seen a reversal in this trend. For 2013/14, the number for the whole of England increased to 58,590, noticeably higher than the low point of 48,240 recorded in 2010/11.
For the 14-authority Lancashire area, 91 households were classified as living in temporary accommodation in 2013/14, which was noticeably lower that the two previous years. Hyndburn recorded no households, and four other Lancashire authorities had fewer than five. In contrast, South Ribble has consistently recorded quite a high figure in comparison with other Lancashire authorities, and with 26 households in temporary accommodation in 2013/14, it had the highest number in Lancashire.
Table 2. Households living in temporary accommodation, 2005/06 to 2013/2014
The Department for Communities and Local Government homelessness statistics web page includes figures on rough sleeping in England. Rough sleeping counts and estimates are single night snapshots of the number of people sleeping rough in local authority areas. Local authorities decide whether to carry out a count or an estimate based upon their assessment of whether the local rough sleeping problem justifies counting. For Autumn 2014, the 14 Lancashire authorities provided either street counts or estimates that together came to 37 rough sleepers. For England as a whole, the figure was 2,744.
Recording of homelessness cases by local authorities
Local authorities record cases where homelessness is prevented or relieved on the P1E data return. Under sections 1 and 3 of the Homelessness Act 2002, local housing authorities must have a strategy for preventing homelessness in their district. The strategy must apply to everyone at risk of homelessness.
All persons who fall within the authority’s scheme and for whom positive assistance was provided during the quarterly period (either by the authority or a partner organisation) should be recorded on the P1E form.
Complementary information on Lancashire Profile
The National Homeless Advisory Service is a partnership between Shelter and Citizens Advice, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The aim is to ensure that all people receive accurate and timely housing advice.
Last updated February 2015 by Bryan Moulding with data from 2013/2014