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Within: House Conditions

Related to: Employment and Economic ActivityMental Health and Illness, Alcohol,Domestic Abuse

Key Facts:

  • Homeless people are at particular risk of a range of negative health outcomes
  • More homelessness is being prevented as more early advice and intervention is available
  • There were 25 rough sleepers locally in the 2016 snapshot count
  • There are 17 commissioned homelessness advice and information providers in B&NES

  • B&NES has 424 accommodation based, council funded supported housing units

Information on groups and activities in Bath and North East Somerset open to adults who are socially isolated, affected by mental health issues, substance misuse or homelessness can be found in the Hope Guide

What does the National data say?

Health Impacts 1

National evidence suggests that 8 in 10 single homeless people have one or more physical health conditions and 7 in 10 of single homeless people have one or more mental health conditions.

Some of the causes of poor health are more prevalent in the single homeless population: for example, it is thought that approximately 77% single homeless people smoke compared to 21% of the general UK population.

As a result of their complex needs, single homeless people are costly to the NHS. They disproportionately use acute local services at a cost approximately four times more than the general UK population; inpatient costs average eight times higher than the comparison population.

Rough Sleepers 2

The St Mungo's 'No More: Homelessness through the eyes of recent rough sleepers' report June 2013 spoke to 34 people who had slept rough recently in 2013 in order to identify opportunities to prevent homelessness from happening.

Three background factors were often present in the lives of those who had recently slept rough; A traumatic childhood, problematic drug and alcohol use and Mental Ill Health. Often interlinked, these experiences can make it very hard for people to deal with ‘trigger’ events which immediately precede rough sleeping.

4 common trigger events were identified; relationship breakdown, eviction, leaving prison and bereavement. Relationship breakdown was given as the most common reason for new rough sleepers in London.

Bath and North East Somerset

Rough Sleepers in B&NES

Rough sleeping counts 3 and estimates are single night snapshots of the number of people sleeping rough in local authority areas. The Autumn 2016 rough sleeper estimate for Bath and North East Somerset is 25.

Figure 1: Rough Sleeper Count 2010 to 2016 for B&NES and it's 5 most statistically similar Local Authorities 4

  • Of the 25 rough sleepers counted in B&NES in the 216 snapshot, 6 were female (24% locally, higher than the England average of 12%), 3 were under 25 and 2 were non-UK residents from EU countries.
  • While counts locally have fallen since a peak in 2013, the overall trend is still showing an increase in rough sleeping locally and nationally.
  • B&NES saw a 14% increase in numbers of rough sleepers from the 2015 to the 2016 count, slightly lower than the England average of 16% over the same period.
  • Over the full 6 years of the rough sleeper count, the figures have increased by 177% locally, higher than the England average of 133% over the same period.

Figure 2: Rough Sleeper count 2016 rate per 1,000 households - BNES and most statistically similar LAs

  • B&NES shows both a higher number (count) and rate per 1,000 households of rough sleepers than most of our most statistically similar authorities, with the exception of Bedford, which has seen a very significant increase in the last 2 counts.

Domestic Abuse 5

Southside Family Project work with victims of domestic abuse. Their data shows a link between domestic abuse and housing tenure and specialist needs:

  • 90% of Domestic Violence clients live in social housing

  • 60% are in receipt of housing benefit

  • 95% have housing needs i.e. difficulty in finding accommodation for them

  • They are experiencing more young perpetrators who have attacked a parent and then become homeless themselves

  • Joint tenancy is a problem in terms of protecting the victim and ensuring they do not run into housing difficulties.

  • Private rental can be a problem due to the difficulty in getting deposits

  • Re-housing needs - there is a new initiative in the very early stages with Curo Housing to provide a safe house.

Homelessness Prevention and Acceptances 6

There is a shift away from homelessness as more households take early advice that helps them stay in thier homes or make planed moves to alternate housing.
Figure 3: B&NES Homelessness prevention and acceptances by financial year 2011/12 to 2015/16 
Figure 4: B&NES Homelessness prevention and acceptances by financial year 2011/12 to 2015/16 by type
Temporary accommodation 7


The rate of homeless households in temporary accommodation is less in Bath and North East Somerset than in other West of England Authorities and nationally.  However, since October 2012 the rate of households in temporary accommodation has been increasing nationally and in other West of England Authorities.


Figure 5: Households in temporary accommodation per thousand households 8

Are we meeting the needs?

Accommodation 9

There are 424 accommodation based, Council funded supported housing units (£1.4m spend in 2012/13). These units include provide for 184 older people, 73 homeless families/single homeless and 67 young people.

Access to accommodation based services is via the Gateway which provides a single point where service users can apply for a range of support services to help them live independently or prevent homelessness. The waiting list was 208 in August 2016. The largest proportions or the client group for this service are single homeless and people with mental health. 

The Rough Sleeper hostel provided by Julian House offers 20 individual pods. Priority is given to female rough sleepers and for the first time, entrenched rough sleeping women are guaranteed accommodation. The pod-style rooms mean that people with dogs can be accommodated, reducing the reasons for people to refuse to come in from the streets. Feedback from partners and service users has been very positive.

Advice and Prevention 10 11

17 providers are commissioned to prevent homelessness through provision of advice and information services for debt/benefits, tenancy sustainment and finding safe accommodation.

The main types of alternative accommodation secured by advice seekers are private rented using access schemes, staying with friends or relatives and social housing or hostel.

Homefinder is the Council’s Private Sector Housing Access Scheme.  It has been operational since 2008 and has helped prevent nearly 350 people from becoming homeless. It is targeted at families and homeless people with priority need.

The Supported Lodging Scheme places young people (16-18) in homes helping to prevent young people from becoming homeless.