Rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness, however being homeless can also mean living in unsafe, unsuitable or unstable accommodation, or ‘sofa surfing’ between friends' or relatives' house (sometimes called hidden homelessness).

Each person’s story is unique - however, we know that there are factors which can contribute to why people find themselves facing homelessness.  Societal drivers of homelessness include a lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment.  Life events and personal problems can also push people towards homelessness for example relationship breakdowns, transition such as leaving care or the army, escaping domestic abuse, physical or mental poor health, and substance misuse issues. Sometimes people face a complex mix of factors which are exacerbated by wider social and economic factors. However, homelessness whilst complex, is not inevitable. The best way to end homelessness is to prevent it happening in the first place with the right support. These chapters will help you understand the key drivers for homelessness, the importance of early intervention and collaborative prevention work, and the legal context.

What is homelessness
Homelessness can range from those without a roof to people without a suitable, stable and secure place to live.
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Rough sleeping
Statistics show rough sleeping (also known as street homelessness) is rising across our nations.
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Homelessness law
Discover more about the legal framework surrounding homelessness across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
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Temporary accommodation
Read about the requirements placed on local authorities regarding the suitability of temporary accommodation.
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Rural homelessness
Whilst often less visible, rural homelessness is driven by an absence of sufficient affordable housing.
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Housing First - England
Find out more about this programme in England and how it helps prevent homelessness.
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Housing First - Scotland
Find out more about this programme in Scotland and how it helps prevent homelessness.
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Good practice
Read how other organisations are tackling domestic abuse and support for tenants in our examples library.

Case Study

The People's Gateway was a multi-agency initiative to help families avoid a financial crisis and homelessness.

Read the case study here

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