Anxiety, stress and a constant struggle to acquire more goods… The ever-increasing cost of living is one of the main problems of the modern lifestyle, and thus the “modern” man ends up not being able to cope with even the basics. For example, in rent.

This issue is emerging as a major problem for the UK which appears to be stuck in this situation with almost 135,000 households living in ‘temporary accommodation’ in England, Scotland and Wales.

“Temporary housing” and “homelessness”

When the term “homeless” is used we usually think of people who are on the street, sleeping outside, on abandoned bridges or even cars. But this term also includes people and families who at any moment can be left without a home, as they are supported only by some kind of social subsidy, while housing can be taken away from them at an unsuspecting time. It is typical that in 80% of the cases for the developed member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “homelessness” means temporary accommodation with a government subsidy.

A recent Financial Times article entitled “Why Britain is the worst in the world in its homelessness crisis” highlights exactly this problem. According to OECD figures, the UK ranks first in homelessness among the organisation’s 38 member countries, with one in 200 households in temporary housing. It is characteristic that Belgium, which is in second place, registers only half the percentages of those of the United Kingdom. Champions England have even more than doubled their rate in the last decade with 112,000 households living in temporary accommodation, up from 48,000 in 2010.

What are these accommodations? Mainly apartments granted by private individuals, hostels or places of municipalities and organizations to people and families who are unable to cope with the ever-increasing cost of living. Accommodation in them is supported by various subsidies.

However, these buildings are in most cases in a deplorable condition, with dampness and mold, creating health problems or worsening the existing ones for those who live in them. In fact, the squalid condition of temporary accommodation is believed to be a factor that has led to the death of 55 children in England in the last five years.

Inability of the state to cope

According to the report, as well as the official figures, the United Kingdom does not seem ready to cope. The state has a “woefully low rate of new housing construction” compared to other developed countries, social housing is down 25% compared to 1970, while financial assistance for those unable to afford rent is being cut. of the market.

Many UK municipalities in recent years have declared themselves on the brink of bankruptcy. According to a report by the Guardian, in February 2024, 19 municipalities have come to an emergency funding agreement to avoid bankruptcy in the coming months, while the overall deficit in England’s municipalities currently exceeds 4 billion pounds. The housing problem brings huge costs to them. In the last year it is estimated that councils have given £1.8 billion to emergency accommodation, twice as much as a decade ago.