mid the growing crisis of affordable homes in the U.K., newly released figures show homelessness has risen by almost a third since 2010. The rise has been pinned to the increasing amount of rent arrears, in which people find themselves unable to afford hefty rental payments each month.
Figures by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that the number of households becoming homeless when a tenancy comes to an end had risen by as much as 154 percent between the third quarters of 2010 and 2015. The number of renters having little choice but to sleep on the streets due to rent arrears had increased by 36 percent during the same period.
The opposition Labour Party said the figures confirmed the scale of the “stark problems” the U.K.’s private rental housing sector posed to people. “These new figures highlight the particularly stark problems people can face. Ministers need to get a grip,” said John Healey, the Shadow Housing Minister.
The homelessness charity Shelter also pins blame for increasing homelessness on the rising number of people who are being forced to leave their homes when a tenancy comes to an end because landlords are increasing the rent.
Shelter carried out its own study on the affordability of rent, which showed that one in ten parents would not be able to pay housing costs during January – and 2.5 million parents were forgoing household essentials, including food, clothes and energy, in order to pay the rent.
U.K.’s Unaffordable Private Rental Market
It’s no secret that rent is becoming increasingly unaffordable in the U.K. A separate recent study found that one in five of Britain’s private tenants could not afford to pay January’s rent out of their normal salary and have been forced to resort to credit cards, loans, overdrafts, pay day loans and borrowing from friends and family in order to pay the housing costs.
The research was compiled by the house sharing website Spareroom.co.uk, which found that 6.5 percent of 1,003 respondents surveyed said they had no way of paying their rent last month.
“January is a notoriously bad month for finances with Christmas having taken its toll on our bank balances and with 45 percent of landlords considering rent increases in 2016, the prospect looks bleak for renter,” Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk told ThisIsMoney.