Shocking Increase in Birmingham Homelessness

Credit: Matthew Woitunski

The number of homeless people and homeless families in Birmingham has soared in the past year since Brexit and the reduction of government grants to get dwellers off the street. Homeless people can be seen everywhere in Birmingham, from the Mailbox all the way through New Street to Digbeth.

Figures of homelessness in Birmingham first began back in December 2012 due to the rising number of people sleeping on the streets. As of June 2016, there has been a huge rise in the number of families without homes- instead being forced to pay for accommodation or being put into B&Bs by the council as a last ditch effort to  keep parents and children off the street. There are currently 21 such families in B&Bs, an unprecedented spike considering there were zero back in June 2015.

The data only takes into consideration those families who have been placed in B&Bs and only those who have been in such places for six weeks or more. As such, the true figure could be even higher.

Altogether, the stats showed that there are 58,180 homeless families in England, with 114,930. A 60% increase since 2010.

Jon Sparks, Chief executive of Crisis, a Homeless charity, told the BBC:

“More and more people are finding themselves in desperate circumstances. Prevention is better than cure, and for homeless people this is especially so. It has already been shown to work in Wales. We now need similar change in England. The Homelessness Reduction Bill currently making its way through Parliament aims to do just that.”

Birmingham City Council is currently working on tackling its homeless issue through directing homeless people towards helpful services and benefits. A spokesman said, “We have also commissioned services that target different groups – whether youth, victims of domestic abuse, former offenders, entrenched rough sleepers.”


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