Written evidence submitted by Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Panel Study (UKHLS) [HOL 87] [House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee: Homelessness]
1) Fewer individuals and families are able to move from the private rented sector (PRS) to social housing. Around one in ten tenants in the sector report that they have problems with paying housing costs, a situation that is likely to become worse if private sector rents continue to rise. 2) If the long-term transition to social housing continues on its downward trajectory, it is plausible that this will put some families at risk of becoming homeless even though they have a place to live, with tenants depriving themselves of the basic essentials to meet housing costs or falling in arrears. Combined with other factors, such as more families with children under 16 living in the PRS sector, greater policy priority should be given to introducing longer-term tenures in the private rented sector to prevent homelessness. 3) Involuntary home moves are a significant feature of the housing market. Between 1991 and 2011, 16% of adults moved home involuntarily at least once and a further 7% moved more than once. This means that of all those who moved home involuntarily around a third did so two or more times. What’s more, 11% of moving adults had only ever made involuntary moves. 4) Whilst, it is expected that the group most experiencing involuntary home moves would be the young, the picture shifts when looking at those who has moved multiple times involuntarily. Couples and lone parents, though less likely to move involuntarily overall, are as likely to move multiple times involuntarily as their single counterparts. Reducing involuntary moves, where this is a sensible and feasible solution for individual households, will bring greater stability to their lives. This could be through a combination of improved guidance and support and a discretionary housing payments fund.