23 Nov 2022

CIH respond to latest ONS homelessness statistics

The ONS has today released new statistics in relation to the registrations of deaths of people experiencing homeless for the calendar year 2021 in England and Wales. Deaths of homeless people include people sleeping rough or using emergency or temporary accommodation at or around the time of death.

Key statistics include:

  • 741 reported deaths of people experiencing homelessness. This is an increase of 7.7 per cent since 2020
  • Over thirteen per cent of estimated deaths were due to suicide (an annual increase of 34 per cent)
  • The estimated number of deaths among homeless people has increased by 54 per cent since this data began being reported in 2013
  • London and the North West had the highest numbers of deaths registered in 2021.

CIH policy and practice officer Hannah Keilloh said:

“Every death of a person experiencing homelessness is an absolute tragedy, and the increase in numbers since 2020 is desperately sad and extremely concerning.

"Homelessness and poor physical health go hand-in-hand. Sleeping in insecure and often unsafe situations on the streets, in hostels, in squats or in substandard or overcrowded accommodation can have a very damaging effect on peoples physical and mental health. We are facing an incredibly tough winter and we know that homelessness services are already facing increasing demand and pressure with more and more people being pushed into homelessness.

"The government’s decision in the budget this month to to leave local housing allowance (LHA) rates frozen at 2020 levels means that the affordability gap for private renters will only grow, ultimately resulting in increased homelessness. The government should immediately rethink this in order to protect people struggling with rising rents from being pushed to financial breaking point.

"In the longer term we must invest in building good quality, supported and social homes so that everyone has a safe and secure place to call home.”