Homelessness at present costs the public sector in excess of £1 billion a year, with more than three quarters of spend disbursed to pay for “Bed and Breakfast” and other forms of temporary accommodation.
One in two hundred people in the United Kingdom now live in temporary accommodation. The Public Accounts Committee observed that temporary accommodation is “often of a poor standard and does not offer value for money” and recommended that steps should be taken to eliminate the use of non-decent temporary accommodation; and to replace this supply with alternatives that offer better value for money. The average period in temporary accommodation is an average of 12 months, for families.
Living in temporary accommodation also exacerbates common mental health issues, including depression; contributes to health issues such as bronchitis and tuberculosis, vulnerability to existing physical health conditions such as asthma; falling levels of self-esteem and activity; and increasing visits to doctors or hospitals, with a resulting cost burden on the National Health Service.
Over half of families in temporary accommodation have suffered health issues as a result of living in temporary accommodation, whilst nearly all parents of their children in temporary accommodation feel that the health of their children had suffered through living in temporary accommodation, including depression, asthma and other chest and breathing problems. Moreover long-term confinement impacts on people’s levels of motivation and self-esteem and activity.
The 2020 Initiative seeks to reverse this cycle of depravation, by providing permanent accommodation to people who have been accepted as homeless and now live in Temporary Accommodation; and for people who are rough sleeping, by providing suitable permanent accommodation and support.
Respects the principles and norms