Almost half of Brits believe homelessness has risen in their local area

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
April 16, 2018, 9:08 AM GMT+0

That figure is up from 26% in 2013

At the end of March the government announced both extra local funding and a new task force as part of its plans to eliminate homelessness by 2027.

However, the government has also come under fire in recent months for the consistent rise in homelessness since the Conservatives came to power in 2010. There were estimated to be 4,751 rough sleepers in England in 2017, a figure that has risen 169% over the previous seven years.

It seems this increase has not gone unnoticed by the British public. New YouGov research reveals that almost half of Brits (47%) think there are more homeless people in their local area than there were ten years ago. When YouGov previously asked this question in October 2013, the figure was only 26%.

A further 28% of people feel that there are about the same number of homeless people in their local area than there were a decade ago (compared to 40% in 2013), while only 3% believe there are fewer (7% in 2013). The remaining 22% say they don’t know.

How do Brits believe people become homeless?

When asked how they believe people become homeless, the public’s most common view (at 43%) is that most people who end up homeless do so because of circumstances beyond their control. This view is most commonly held by Labour (55%) and Lib Dem voters (53%), as well as women (49%).

By contrast, about a quarter of Brits (27%) seem to think that most homeless people have probably made bad choices in life that have got them into their situation. Conservative voters (36%) and men (33%) are the most likely to hold this view.

A further 16% agreed with neither of these sentiments, while the remaining 14% answered “don’t know”.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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