Homelessness Survey

The Board conducted a survey to collect a snapshot of homelessness in Jersey. The data collected included:-

  • An online survey for individuals who are currently homeless, are at risk of homelessness or have been homeless in the past.
  • A paper version of the same survey made available to the current residents of temporary and supported accommodation.
  • A snapshot census conducted by the main temporary and supported accommodation providers to determine the number and characteristics of individuals accessing their services.
  • An online survey of housing providers and wider partner organisations.
  • Existing data sources, including the Jersey Census and individual service data including Housing Gateway.

There were 121 responses to the survey of homeless individuals.  The largest group represented was single households and a greater proportion of younger households (16 to 24) completed the survey than are represented in the population as a whole.  The majority, 93.4%, of the survey respondents had full Entitled residential status and 66.1% of these stated that Jersey was their nationality.

Rooflessness

Fairly significant numbers of individuals are rough sleeping on a regular basis, although this is well hidden.

An average of 104 residents are living in temporary or supported accommodation provided by the two main providers.  The majority are single and had full residency qualifications.

Insecure

22% of the respondents who are currently homeless or at risk cited rent affordability as the reason.

182 active applicants on the Housing Gateway (the social housing waiting list) on 10 September 2019 were applying due to insecure nature of their current accommodation.

The lack of security of tenure of some non-qualified accommodation means that residents are more at risk of being required to leave this accommodation at short notice and becoming homeless.

Three in 10 Jersey adults found it difficult to cope financially and reported that their household’s financial situation was worse that a year ago.

Jersey Women’s refuge report that domestic abuse cases were increasing.  There were 48 cases admitted to the safe housing in 2018.

Inadequate

Nearly 18% of survey respondents currently homeless cited a parent or family member being unwilling to accommodate as a reason for their situation.

6% stated that their accommodation was unsuitable.

One in 20 occupied properties classed as overcrowded.

242 current applicants were registered on the Housing Gateway due to overcrowding and poor housing standards.

There was a 233% increase in reports made to Environmental Health concerning housing standards.

Leaving Institution or Care

30 offenders were flagged as having unsuitable accommodation in 2018.

The mental health team reported six cases were bed blocked in the acute psychiatric wards due to need for appropriate accommodation.

Key Observations

  • Government funding for commission services in 2018 totalled £2.2 million.
  • Accommodation represents the largest component of income support.  The total budget is increasing to cover social sector rents.
  • A housing bond has been made available to Andium Homes.  The majority of this is being used to refurbish the existing stock and is not sufficient to meet the identified need for affordable accommodation.
  • Homeless services rely heavily on charitable funding and donations, and there is considerable funding in the sector.  However, homelessness services are poor relations in terms of receiving funding compared to more popular charities.
  • Government neds to take a longer-term view on the charitable contributions that can be achieved and to provide further funding themselves.
  • There are opportunities to make better use of resources through wider collaboration between providers.
  • Funding should be more outcome based.