By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Large rise in homelessness spending over past five years

The government has released new figures on the amount being spent by local councils on temporary accommodation for homeless households in England in 2021/22. 

They reveal that councils spent £1.6 billion on temporary accommodation for homeless households between April 2021 and March 2022 – even before the cost of living crisis fully took hold.  Spending increased by four per cent in a year and 61 per cent in the last five years.   

A quarter of the total was spent on emergency B&Bs and hostels – £407m – while spending on B&Bs alone has increased by 20 per cent in the last five years.   

Commenting on the figures, Polly Neate - chief executive of Shelter - says: “Homelessness is bad for the economy and it’s even worse for the people whose lives it destroys. It defies all logic to shell out over £1.6 billion on grim B&B’s and grotty flats, instead of helping people to keep hold of their home in the first place.

“Housing benefit should stop people on low incomes becoming homeless, but it’s been frozen since 2020 despite private rents rocketing. This gaping hole in our country’s safety net is throwing families needlessly into homelessness and trapping them in awful temporary accommodation because they can’t afford private rentals and there are barely any social homes.

“Allowing homelessness to rise unchecked during the cost of living crisis, will only cost more in the long run. The government must unfreeze housing benefit now so people can pay their rent. And to end homelessness altogether it needs to build decent, truly affordable social homes.”

  • icon

    You really couldn’t make this up, could you? The public purse was always going to be worse off under Section 24 but the politicians a) didn’t spot this and b) didn’t want to know when it was pointed out as far back as 2015. Then you’ve got Polly Neate telling us how terrible homelessness is for the economy when it was Shelter eagerly supporting Section 24 and claiming taxes wouldn’t affect rents and homelessness! NOW she’s telling us that homelessness - mainly caused by a policy she supports - costs too much?! REALLY, Sherlock?? You’ve finally spotted the obvious have you?! Jesus wept…

  • G romit

    These armchair experts don't understand the damage they are causing, and the misery for homeless families that results from their collateral damage.

    Of course, it's always someone elses fault, they are never wrong are they? Such is their arrogance.

  • icon

    If Shelter really cares about homelessness then perhaps they should build some houses with their incredible revenue. No??? Thought not.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up