Councils must screen for vulnerability to limit covid related homelessness

Councils must screen for vulnerability to limit covid related homelessness

Local authorities need to assess financial resilience to ensure the most vulnerable are not made homeless as furlough ends.

According to the Homeless Charity Shelter, an estimated 227,000 adults have fallen into rental arrears since the start of the pandemic. The actual number of tenants with rental arrears is likely to be considerably higher because of the protracted lockdown [1].  

This is in addition to some 277,000 people estimated homeless at the start of 2019. With social housing stocks diminishing, the Government’s promised house building scheme, for an additional 130,000 affordable homes by March 2022, is likely to fall short [2].  

Shelter noted ‘the terrifying impact of the pandemic on private renter’s finances’ which ‘is only likely to get worse’. With the Government’s furlough scheme ending on 31 October and the moratorium on eviction expiring on 20 September, next year is could see a significant rise in homelessness in the UK.   

The challenge facing all councils will be how to assess financial vulnerability, so that the vulnerable can be prioritised when requesting support. This will ensure a more efficient use of the existing housing stock.    

The award winning elanev® Resilience is the only UK wide compliant financial vulnerability screen. Organisations are using the elanev Resilience score to proactively identify customers most likely to need support and prioritise them for contact.  

[1] ‘Almost 230,000 renters at risk of homelessness when eviction ban lifts’, Metro, 6 July 2020.  
[2] ‘Homes England strategic plan 2018 to 2023’, Homes England, Strategic Plan 2018/19 – 2022/23, 30 October 2018. 
[3] ‘Financial Lives: The experiences of vulnerable consumers’, Financial Conduct Authority, July 2020.