Destitution research

More than a million people in the UK are so poor they cannot afford to eat properly, keep clean or stay warm and dry, according to a groundbreaking attempt to measure the scale of destitution in Britain.

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A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) found that 184,500 households experienced a level of poverty in a typical week last year that left them reliant on charities for essentials such as food, clothes, shelter and toiletries.

More than three-quarters of destitute people reported going without meals, while more than half were unable to heat their home. Destitution affected their mental health, left them socially isolated and prone to acute feelings of shame and humiliation.

Although the study could not demonstrate that destitution had increased in recent years, it said this would be a plausible conclusion because of related evidence showing austerity-era rises in severe poverty, food bank use, homelessness and benefit sanction rates.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation research finds that migrants, who face restricted access to jobs and benefits, are disproportionately likely to become destitute. Download the full research report here. A list of the findings can be read here.

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Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP) have also produced research regarding increased delays in the provision of accommodation following a successful asylum support appeal. The report entitled “The Waiting Game” can be read here: ASAP – Delays Report 2016

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