Government claims of reducing homelessness by 90% have been disputed by the Streetlink charity and this is the second time the government have been challenged on their figures in 2 months.
Latest figures from the Streetlink charity have revealed that, if anything, rough sleeping shot up under lock down. Despite a £3.2million scheme to get people off the streets (a paltry amount considering the scale of the problem). Streetlink say there’s been a 36% increase in the number of people reported homeless between April and June 2020 compared to between April and June 2019.
Streetlink charity points out that a number of homeless services and facilities have actually closed and more people are being forced to sleep rough after losing their jobs during lockdown. Foreign nationals are particularly hard hit as they don’t have access to public funds.
Back in May, the Office for Statistics Regulation also criticised the government for making claims on reducing homelessness without publishing any supporting data.
Homeless charities have raised concerns that the situation is likely to get dramatically worse over the coming days and weeks because of the government’s decision to lift the ban on evictions on 23 August. It’s expected that many people who are currently unable to work, as a result of lockdown restrictions, will have fallen behind on rent payments. Shelter are estimating up to 230,000 tenants have fallen into arrears during the pandemic and could be at risk of eviction by the end of August.