Money Wellness
A homeless man sits on the street outside a shop with a Merry Christmas sign in the window
category iconHousing
calendar icon28 Nov 2023

Homeless households to be told there is ‘no room at the inn’ this Christmas

One in four households unlucky enough to find themselves homeless in the run up to Christmas will be turned away by their local council, the Salvation Army has warned.

Homelessness legislation means that councils in England are only required to find emergency accommodation for those classed as being in ‘priority need’.

The stats

The charity analysed government figures and estimates about 23,500 households in England will be homeless in the last three months of the year.

Of those, around 5,500 won’t qualify for emergency accommodation and could end up sleeping on the streets this Christmas.

Call for a change in the law

The Salvation Army is calling for a change in the law so that all those who find themselves on the streets are offered emergency and then longer-term accommodation.

It says such a change would require the government to increase funding for local homelessness services in line with inflation.

Risk of illness, injury and early death

Church leader in Blackpool John Clifton said:

“Being homeless during the season of comfort and joy makes terrible and dangerous living conditions feel even worse.

“Thousands are facing an unhappy Christmas out on the streets without shelter, sanitation or privacy and are at risk of illness, injury and early death because homelessness laws don’t consider their situation to be desperate enough.”

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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