Shelter claims the end of the eviction ban has contributed to creating over 274,000 people who are homeless in England right now, including 126,000 children.
Shelter’s interpretation of official rough-sleeping and temporary accommodation figures shows that one in every 206 people in England is currently without a home.
Of these, 2,700 people are sleeping rough on any given night, nearly 15,000 single people in direct access hostels and nearly 250,000 people are living in temporary accommodation – most of whom are families.
The campaigning charity’s latest fund-raising statement says that Covid protections such as the ‘Everyone In’ scheme, the eviction ban, and the boost to Universal Credit played a vital role in keeping people in their homes and supressing homelessness during the pandemic.
Now Shelter is warning with these protections gone, living costs soaring and another uncertain winter ahead, there is a risk of the flood gates reopening and thousands more people losing their homes.
Shelter is calling on the public to support its frontline workers who have been inundated with calls to its emergency helpline from people facing homelessness this winter.
The charity says it’s hearing from people who are facing a night on the streets in freezing conditions after being turned away from emergency accommodation. As well as thousands of families in dire straits living in grotty hostel rooms where parents and siblings are forced to share beds, and there are only communal facilities.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, says: “We predicted the pandemic would trigger a rising tide of evictions and our services are starting to see the reality of this now. We’re flooded with calls from families and people of all ages who are homeless or on the verge of losing their home.”
She continues: “It is shameful that 274,000 people are without a home, and with Covid protections now gone thousands more will be joining them. A shoddy hostel room or a freezing cold doorway is no place to wake up on Christmas morning, but sadly so many people will.
“This winter the work of our frontline staff is as critical as ever.
“Our emergency helpline advisers work 365 days a year, doing everything they can to help people find a safe and secure home.”