More than one homeless person died every day in the UK over the last 12 months, according to a new study. A physicist, a former soldier and a travelling musician were among the 449 deaths recorded since October 2017, including 14 in one week alone. Experts described the statistic as a “national scandal” and placed the blame on welfare cuts, high rents and a lack of social housing.
Causes of death included assault, drug overdoses, illness and suicide. One man showed signs of prolonged starvation. Their ages ranged from 18 to 94 years old, with an average of 49 for men and 53 for women. The place of death was only known in 128 cases, including 65 on the streets, 47 in temporary accommodation and 16 in hospitals.
The definition of homelessness used by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism includes rough sleepers, people living in emergency accommodation such as hostels, sofa surfers and those registered as officially homeless in Northern Ireland.