A total of 6,020 households became homeless in England and Wales between January and March this year, according to ministry of housing, communities and local government statistics.
The number equates to 19.5% of the 30,840 households identified as requiring support because of health, disability or other needs. The total counted as homeless was 70,430.
Publication of the official statistics coincided with Woman’s Aid releasing its annual No Women Turned Away report which found a 1,715 shortfall of refuge bed spaces in England.
Acting co-chief executive Adina Claire said: “It’s scandalous that, in 2019, women fleeing domestic abuse still face the terrifying prospect of either returning to their perpetrator or facing homelessness. “We are facing a chronic shortage of bed spaces in specialist refuge services, and this is causing unimaginable suffering for women at a time when they are most in need of support. Survivors fleeing domestic abuse should not have to sofa-surf.”
Of the 309 women Woman’s Aid supported as they were left with nowhere to turn when fleeing domestic abuse, 136 (44.0%) sofa-surfed.