HC Deb 30 January 1986 vol 90 c608W
Mr. Jeff Rooker

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment to what factors he attributes the rise in homeless households housed as secure tenants as a percentage of all new secure tenancies in England as set out in his answer of 18 November 1985, Official Report, column 58.

Mr. John Patten

[pursuant to his reply, 13 January 1986, c. 468]: The main factors are as follows:

People become homeless for a variety of reasons. For those accepted as being in priority need under the provisions of the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977, social factors which have become more significant in recent years are mortgage default and marital disputes. For example some 20 per cent. of those accepted as homeless last year became so as a result of marital disputes compared with only around 15 per cent. in 1978. A major factor has always been the unwillingness or inability of families and friends to continue to provide accommodation.

The percentage of new secure lettings held by such households depends on two separate figures—the number of homeless families housed in this way in any year and the number of new lettings. The number of homeless households housed in secure tenancies varies from local authority to local authority according to the policies of the particular authority, the number of households accepted as homeless in any given period, the particular needs of the households and the availability of suitable accommodation. But across the country as a whole the overall number of homeless households given such tenancies has risen, reflecting increases in the number of homeless for the reasons set out above. At the same time there has been a smaller annual number of new secure lettings. This is partly offset by the provision of non-secure lettings under schedule 3 to the Housing Act 1980. But such lettings are not taken into account in the percentages given in the earlier answer.

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