Homeless population surges in rural England – study
The number of homeless in rural England has surged by 40% in five years amid rising property prices and the cost-of-living crisis, according to a recent report by British countryside charity Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
The number of people sleeping rough – meaning those living in the open air, in tents, makeshift shelters or buildings not meant for human habitation – has increased in the UK from 17,212 counted in 2018 to 24,143 in 2023, according to the study.
It’s estimated that every 15 people per 100,000 are homeless across England, the researchers said. CPRE found that the problem is more severe in rural areas than in many of England’s towns and cities, including London, Leeds or Norwich.
According to the charity, the crisis stems from the economic downturn that started in 2022, when inflation in the UK hit a multi-decade high of 11.1% due to soaring costs of energy and food. The crunch eventually resulted in record-high house prices, stagnating wages, huge waiting lists for public housing and price rises for second homes and short-term lets, including Airbnb. A lack of affordable housing that it describes as “severe” has exacerbated the country’s cost-of-living crisis, CPRE said. The report adds that 300,000 people are waiting for social housing in rural England, where the average house price stands at around £420,000 ($535,000).
The number of displaced persons in Britain surged by 14% in December compared to the same month last year, a separate report from housing charity Shelter has revealed. It would likely take the country half a century to resolve its housing crisis as the UK (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) was short of about four million homes, with much of the shortage in England, think tank Centre for Cities estimated earlier this year.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section