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One-third of homeless sofa-surfing forced to do so for over six months

A third of homeless people who are sofa-surfing in the UK have been doing so for more than six months, according to research from Crisis.

Figures from the charity estimate there are 71,400 sofa-surfers across the country – making it the largest form of homelessness.

The analysis comes amid a deepening national crisis, with the number of households considered newly homeless or at risk of becoming so rising by 11.4% across England in the past year alone, according to government data.

Housing affordability – including people’s benefits not covering the cost of rent – was raised by many of the 114 sofa-surfers Crisis interviewed across the country as part of its research.

Eight out of 10 respondents said their mental health had suffered as a result of the insecurity of their living situation, with many feeling like a burden on their host, while 77% said they were experiencing problems with physical health, including extreme back and neck pain and chronic fatigue.

More than half of those who were interviewed were under 35, which is disproportionate compared with the demographics of other forms of homelessness, including rough sleeping.

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