The homeless charity, Crisis have published research figures showing a dramatic rise in private rental sector tenants ending rental agreements with buy to let landlords. Either by mutual agreement or due to the tenant being evicted for none payment of rent.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of people being accepted as homeless as a result.

And the research warns that the situation is set to get much worse.

The Homelessness Monitor – Which tracks the impact of policy and economic change in England, commissioned by Crisis and undertaken by Heriot-Watt University and the University of York, warns that after years of stable or falling levels of homelessness, 2010 marked the turning point when homelessness (in all forms) began to rise again.

The research predicts that the worst is yet to come as the continuing economic downturn combined with the Con –Dem Government’s radical welfare reforms will leave many more people facing the reality of homelessness.

The shocking statistics are the first since the Government cut Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance (LHA), for new claimants in April 2011.

The figures show a 46% rise on the same period last year in the number of people being accepted as homeless as a result of their tenancy in the private rented sector ending.

Chief Executive of Crisis Leslie Morphy, said: “The official figures prove once again we now face a sustained increase in homelessness but, worryingly, this research predicts the worst is yet to come. The Coalition Government is dismantling the buffers against poverty and unemployment that have traditionally kept a roof over vulnerable households’ heads. Homelessness is rising and we fear cuts to housing benefit and housing budgets, alongside reforms in the Welfare Reform and Localism Bills will cause it to increase yet further. We need the Government to change course now or risk returning us to the days of countless lives facing the debilitating effects of homelessness.”

Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, of the Institute for Housing, Urban and Real Estate Research, Heriot-Watt University, who led the research, said: “International evidence indicates that strong welfare and housing systems are vital in mitigating the impact of difficult economic circumstances on people vulnerable to homelessness. So the Government’s reforms in combination with the pressures of the economic downturn seem certain to increase all forms of homelessness, from rough sleepers on our streets to homeless people hidden out of sight.”

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