There are more people homeless in Britain today than the population of Newcastle upon Tyne

It is estimated that there are more than 300,000 people homeless in Britain today. Stock image of model

Homelessness charity Shelter recently published statistics on the crisis currently plaguing Great Britain – the statistics suggest there are more than 300,000 people homeless in the country today. This number is larger than the ONS’ estimated population of Newcastle upon Tyne by around 5,000 people. 

By combining official numbers of rough sleepers, those in temporary accommodation and figures from social services, Shelter concluded that the number of homeless people in Britain has increased by 13,000 in the past year. Given that government records are not definitive, however, they estimate that the true figure will be higher still.

Shelter has published a report ‘Far from alone: Homelessness in Britain in 2017’ which highlights how hard it can be to escape homelessness, due to lack of affordable housing, combined with welfare reforms, and several other factors.

According to the report, one in every 200 people in England is homeless, but there are numerous areas in which that figure is even higher. Newham, for instance, has the worst issue with homelessness in the whole of England, with 1 in every 25 people homeless there, closely followed by Haringey where the figure is 1 in every 29.

‘It’s shocking to think that today, more than 300,000 people in Britain are waking up homeless,’ said Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter. ‘Some will have spent the night shiverying on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy hostel room with their children.

‘And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for. 

‘On a daily basis,’ she continued, ‘We speak to hundreds of people and families who are desperately trying to escape the devastating trap of homelessness. A trap that is tightening thanks to decades of failure to build enough affordable homes and the impact of welfare cuts.’

The charity has launched an urgent appeal for donations to help their frontline staff tackle this appalling state of affairs.