Hundreds of homeless people hospitalised in Sheffield while eviction claims in the city rise

Homelessness was a factor in hundreds of emergency hospital admissions at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust over five years, new figures show.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 11:30 am

NHS Digital data revealed roughly 565 emergency visits to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were for people found to be homeless in the five years to March 2021.

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The Trust figures, which are rounded to the nearest five, cover patients where the primary or secondary cause of admission was homelessness.

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Abuse of alcohol and drugs, as well as mental health problems, are among the most common reasons for hospital admissions among homeless people nationally, the figures show.

Meanwhile, The Star reported earlier this week that more than 4,000 homes stand empty in the city while Sheffield families face evictions from landlords continuing to use Section 21 ‘no-fault’ methods which Theresa May promised to outlaw two years ago.

Tony Stacey, chief executive of South Yorkshire Housing Association, said of the empty houses: “This is a high figure, but it is not out of line with other big cities. It is always difficult for local authorities to influence these numbers due to things like absentee owners.”

Regarding the no-fault evictions, he added: “This is a concern. I don’t know why this commitment, which dates back to Theresa May, has not been followed through.”

And while bailiff-enforced evictions were banned during the lockdowns, the ban ended on May 31 and they have been back on the rise in Sheffield since restrictions lifted in July.

Landlords and mortgage lenders lodged dozens of claims to repossess Sheffield homes as the country emerged from the latest lockdown.

Ministry of Justice figures show 72 claims to repossess homes in Sheffield were lodged by mortgage lenders and landlords between July and September.

Though this was higher than the 15 claims made over the same period in 2020, it was still fewer than the 266 recorded in 2019.

And the figures show 22 property repossessions took place in Sheffield between July and September.

Of these, 20 were evictions of renters, while two were by mortgage lenders. It is not clear how many of these were ‘no-fault’ evictions.

Charity Crisis said the figures showed that the measures introduced to prevent homelessness during the pandemic were inadequate.