Shelter’s latest research reveals that more than 274,000 people are homeless in England but its previous data showed the problem was even worse before the pandemic, with 280,000 people affected in December 2019.

The campaigning charity believes the new figures are likely to be underestimated due to limited reporting. Nevertheless, its data and commentary reveal that the long months of the evictions ban, which cost many landlords thousands of pounds in lost rent, helped prevent a surge in homelessness.

Shelter says that, along with the evictions ban, Covid protections such as the ‘Everyone In’ scheme and the boost to Universal Credit played a vital role in keeping people in their homes and suppressing homelessness during the pandemic.


Now it’s warning that with these protections gone, living costs soaring and another uncertain winter ahead, there is a risk of the flood gates reopening and thousands more people losing their homes.

Its detailed analysis of official rough-sleeping and temporary accommodation figures shows that one in every 206 people are without a home and 2,700 of these are sleeping rough on any given night.

This new report reveals that London comes out worst, with one in 53 people now homeless in the capital, with other hot-spots including Luton, Brighton and Hove, Manchester and Birmingham.

polly shelter

Chief executive Polly Neate adds: “It is shameful that 274,000 people are without a home.

“We predicted the pandemic would trigger a rising tide of evictions and our services are starting to see the reality of this now. We’re flooded with calls from families and people of all ages who are homeless or on the verge of losing their home.”


  1. Homelessness is terrible – but making yourself homeless is not.

    About time the figures reflected this.

    However, when Shelter continue to produce their “facts” with an accompanying statement which says they aren’t reliable, nobody should take any notice – except the media who need constant drivel to publish.

  2. Unfortunately in the real world people generally have to stand on their own feet. If you don’t pay your mortgage or rent eventually you will lose your home . In reality the pressure Shelter put to increase costs to landlords and to make investing in the PRS less and less attractive contributing to Homelessness


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