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Squatting

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of people who were (a) squatting, (b) facing eviction, (c) in temporary accommodation, (d) living in severe overcrowding and (e) staying with friends or family because they had no accommodation at the latest date for which figures are available. (258153)

Information about the number of people who are squatting is not collected centrally.

Information about the number of people who are facing eviction is not collected centrally.

Information about English local authorities’ actions under the homelessness legislation (part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected quarterly at local authority level, about households rather than individuals.

Data collected include the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.

The total number of households in temporary accommodation, as at 30 September 2008, was 72,130.

Levels of overcrowding are measured through the Survey of English Housing and assessed against the ‘bedroom standard’. The latest estimate is that 59,000 households, containing 362,000 people, live in severely overcrowded conditions. This is the estimate for 2007-08.

Information about the number of people staying with family and friends because they have no accommodation is not collected centrally.