House of Lords Library

Homelessness

Published Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This House of Lords Library briefing contains background information on homelessness, including causes, statistics and government and local authority policies in preparation for the forthcoming question for short debate on how Her Majesty’s Government plans to deal with homelessness on 7 September 2016.

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Homelessness is defined more widely than sleeping rough on the streets and includes those living in shelters, temporary accommodation, ‘sofa surfing’ with friends or relatives or living in squats. Individuals may also be statutorily homeless if they meet specific legislative criteria. Individual, interpersonal and structural factors play a role in the cause of homelessness.

This House of Lords Library briefing provides information about homelessness under a wide definition ranging from statutory homelessness, rough sleeping and ‘hidden homelessness’. Referring to recent research, it also summarises information about youth homelessness, including causes and statistics, and considers some of the general causes of homelessness with reference to individual, interpersonal and structural factors. Finally, with the Government stating on 17 December 2015 that they were considering their options, including legislation, in relation to homelessness, the briefing highlights an independent review of homelessness legislation in England that proposes amendments to current legislation in light of changes brought in in Scotland and Wales.

Lords In Focus LIF-2016-0046

Author: Amritpal Bachu

Topics: Homelessness, Housing, Housing benefits, Housing supply, Overcrowding, Planning, Private rented housing, Social rented housing

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.