Homelessness prevention/relief over time

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 12 October 2017

Homelessness prevention/relief over time

What does this chart show?

A total of 30,000 cases of homelessness prevention or relief were estimated to have taken place in London in 2016/17, in cases where local authorities did not have a statutory duty. This is unchanged from the previous year, but down from the peak of 34,000 in 2013/14. 

Homelessness prevention can either involve helping people facing homelessness to secure alternate accommodation, or helping someone to remain in their home (for example by brokering a repayment schedule between the tenant and the landlord to avoid eviction). Homelessness relief involves helping a household secure accommodation when the household does not meet the statutory definition of homelessness (see above). 

There were 3,400 cases of homelessness relief in 2016/17, where the local authority helped someone into secure accommodation despite not being under statutory duty. The number of homelessness relief cases has remained fairly consistent over the past five years. 

There were 9,500 cases of homelessness prevention where someone was helped to find alternative accommodation and 17,000 cases where someone was helped to remain in the same home. The number of cases where someone moved to avoid homelessness rose, after falling in 2015/16. However, there were far fewer homeless prevention moves in 2016/17 than in 2009/10 (when there were 14,000 moves). The number of cases where someone remained in the same home fell for the third year running, from 20,000 in 2013/14. However, it is still 4,700 higher than in 2009/10. 

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 requires local authorities to help all those threatened with homelessness or currently homeless to secure accommodation, regardless of whether they are in priority need or deemed to be intentionally homelessness, so these numbers are likely to increase in the coming years.