Facts

People can become homeless for a variety of reasons such as family breakdown, social exclusion, mental health problems, drug or alcohol misuse.

What causes homelessness?

Structural reasons also lead to homelessness due to the shortage of housing supply, in addition to low income, rent or mortgage payments, debt and unemployment.

People can become homeless for a variety of reasons such as family breakdown, social exclusion, mental health problems, drug or alcohol misuse. Structural reasons also lead to homelessness due to the shortage of housing supply, in addition to low income, rent or mortgage payments, debt and unemployment.

Who is at risk of homelessness?

Broadly speaking, people who cannot provide themselves with somewhere safe and secure to live are experiencing some form of homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.

More specifically, the Housing Act 1988 defines a person as homeless if:

(a) there is no accommodation available which, in the opinion of the authority, he together with any other person who normally resides with him or might reasonably be expected to reside with him, can reasonably occupy or remain in occupation of, or

(b) he is living in a hospital, county home, night shelter or other such institution and is so living because he has no accommodation of the kind referred to in paragraph (a) and he is, in the opinion of the authority, unable to provide accommodation from his own resources.

It is important to recognise that people do move out of homelessness and into independent living. 

We want to ensure that prevention, support and housing combine to deliver greater autonomy to people who are homeless.