More than 1,500 Doncaster households pushed into homelessness during pandemic

More than 1,500 households in Doncaster were tipped into homelessness during the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 9:42 am

Housing charity Shelter said thousands of families across the country have become homeless during the Covid-19 crisis, and with living costs rising, more are at risk now.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show that 1,829 households in Doncaster sought council support after becoming homeless between April 2020 and the end of September 2021.

Of those, 488 were households with children.

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Across England, 222,360 households have been pushed into homelessness since April 2020

Across England, 222,360 households have been pushed into homelessness since April 2020 – equivalent to a city larger than Doncaster.

Shelter said if someone has become repeatedly homeless over the 18 months, they would appear in the figures multiple times – though the charity estimates this to be a very small number of cases.

Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at Shelter, said the pandemic has been "atrocious" for struggling families even with protections like the eviction ban and the £20 Universal Credit uplift.

She added: “Now, living costs are spiralling and all the protections are gone, even more people will be at risk of losing their homes.

“The economic impact of the pandemic has exposed the true cost of decades of failure to build the social homes we need, leaving millions in insecure homes they can barely afford."

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Bailiff-enforced evictions were banned for a large part of the pandemic – a measure introduced by the Government to prevent renters from being made homeless – though the ban was lifted in England on May 31.

The latest statistics show 36,510 English households became homeless between July and September 2021 – the equivalent of 397 every day.

In Doncaster, 293 households needed help because they were homeless over this time – down from 336 during the same period in 2020.

And Crisis said there are even more people across England "slipping through the cracks" who are not recorded in these figures.

Francesca Albanese, acting director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, said: “The pandemic showed us all just how important home is to a person, yet many thousands have been left without a safe and secure place to call their own.

"People are now struggling as the safety net of pandemic protections, such as the eviction ban and universal credit uplift, have been withdrawn.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.