Homelessness duties outcomes

Outcomes of homelessness initial assessment per 1,000 households (2020/21)

These indicators look at three types of statutory duties that local authorities owe households at risk of or experiencing homelessness in the financial year of 2020/21:

  1. Local authorities owe prevention duties to help stop households at risk of homelessness losing their accommodation. 
  2. If a household is homeless, the local authority owes them a relief duty to provide some sort of accommodation. 
  3. The main homelessness duty to provide accomodation (which until 2018 was the only statutory duty owed to homeless households) comes into effect when the relief duty has failed and accommodation has not been secured. 

As a proportion of the population, more households are owed homelessness duties by local authorities in London than in the rest of England in 2020/21. 

Additionally, prevention duties were less likely to be successfully fulfilled in the capital, with just over half (57%) of households owed a duty actually securing accomodation in London compared to 60% in the rest of England.

Relief duties are also less likely to secure accomodation in London, with 33% of relief duties in the city resulting in an homeless household being accommodated as opposed to 42% in the rest of England. 

Overall in 2020/21, London has 1.17 per 1,000 households who are homeless, whereas outside the capital this figure is significantly lower — where 0.40 per 1,000 households are homeless. 

COVID-19 changed the risks households faced of being homeless in many ways beyond the economic shock associated with the pandemic. These include the increased economic pressures as well as initiatives launched by central and local government to support households such as the bans on evictions and repossessions and initiatives to house people who were sleeping rough in hotels. The overall level of households facing homelessness has not changed much from previous years, however. This time series shows how the number of homeless families has changed over the past two decades.

Outcomes of homelessness relief duties by local authorities (2020/21)

Outcomes of homelessness prevention duties by local authorities (2020/21)

Outcomes of homelessness main duty assessments by local authorities (2020/21)