Substantial increase in the number of dead homeless people as social housing development plummets.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 726 homeless people died in 2018. The findings represent a 22 per cent increase from the previous year and is the largest rise in the number of homeless deaths since 2013.
Drug overdoses among homeless people has been a major contributing factor to homeless deaths. In 2018 an estimated 294 homeless people suffered drug-related deaths. This is an increase of 55 per cent on drug-related homeless deaths in 2017, when 190 homeless people died as a result of drugs.
Of the homeless people who died in 2018, 641 were men. The average age of those dead was 45 for men and 43 for women.
Organisation like Shelter and GLA have highlighted the negative impact homelessness has on an individual’s mental health. Drug use, and other destructive coping mechanisms, are disproportionately high in the homeless population – relative to the general population.
Study conducted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism also reveals over 94% of homes in Britain are unaffordable to housing benefit recipient. There has also been a drastic reduction in the number of council homes. Figures revealed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government shows only 6,463 homes were built in England for social rent in 2017-18, despite their being over a million people on the waiting list for council housing.
At the current rate of development, it would take over 150 years just to home everyone on the current waiting list.