Shelter slams poor quality of statistics

Poor and incomplete recording of homelessness figures could have
serious planning implications for councils and the government,
warns a report by the charity Shelter.

The report highlights the gaps and inconsistencies in the
collection of homelessness data and calls for improved recording
and analysis.

The report says one of the problems with analysing the data is the
different ways in which councils classify people as homeless and in
priority need – there are wide regional variations in some
categories. For example, households fleeing domestic violence with
dependent children may in some authorities be accepted on the basis
of having dependent children and in others on the basis of fleeing
domestic violence.

In the year 2001 to 2002 a total of 236,541 homelessness decisions
were made by councils in England. Of these, 107,445 were assessed
as being homeless and in priority need. Sixty-six per cent of the
priority households had dependent children; domestic violence was a
factor in 6.2 per cent of cases; and 8.7 per cent had mental health

– More Than a Number from

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