Over 5000 Liverpool City Region households made homeless during pandemic

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country have become homeless during the COVID-19 crisis, and with living costs rising, more are nat risk

Thousands of households throughout the Liverpool City Region were forced into homelessness during the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic, figures have revealed.

Housing charity Shelter said it is a pattern repeated across the country during the COVID-19 crisis, and with living costs rising, more families are at still risk.

In the Liverpool City Region specifically, figures from the government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show that 5197 households sought council support after becoming homeless between April 2020 and September 2021.

This figure includes well over one thousand households with children.

Across England, 222,360 households have been pushed into homelessness since April 2020 - equivalent to a city the size of Liverpool.

What’s been said

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Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at Shelter, said the pandemic has been “atrocious” for struggling families even with protections like the eviction ban and the £20 Universal Credit uplift.

“Now, living costs are spiralling and all the protections are gone, even more people will be at risk of losing their homes.

“The economic impact of the pandemic has exposed the true cost of decades of failure to build the social homes we need, leaving millions in insecure homes they can barely afford.”

How were LCR districts affected?

Figures show that in Liverpool there were almost 1400 households who sought council support after becoming homeless during the pandemic with more than 400 of those being households with children.

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The borough was the worst hit throughout the city region.

Following closely was Wirral, where nearly 1200 households, including 261 with children, were made homeless between April 2020 and September 2021.

Sefton registered the third largest increase in homelessness, with 820 households, 87 with children, pushed into homelessness.

In Halton, the figure 717 households, with 146 of those being with kids.

In Knowsley, 570 households were pushed into homelessness, and in St Helens, the number was similar at 538, though with significantly less households with kids affected - 74 as opposed to Knowsley’s 136.

These figures may not even be the whole story.

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Household’s at breaking point

The homelessness charity Crisis says that there are even more people “slipping through the cracks” who are not included in these numbers.

Francesca Albanese, acting director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, said: “The pandemic showed us all just how important home is to a person, yet many thousands have been left without a safe and secure place to call their own.

“People are now struggling as the safety net of pandemic protections, such as the eviction ban and universal credit uplift, have been withdrawn.

“This also comes at a time when even more people are at risk of homelessness as the cost of living crisis squeezes household finances to breaking point.”

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How did the government respond?

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has said its actions helped keep thousands of people in their homes.

A spokesperson said: “Government interventions have also prevented almost 450,000 households from becoming homeless since 2017, supported by an extra £316 million this year, and we will also be ending no-fault evictions as soon as we can.”