We know that women’s experiences of homelessness can be very different to men’s. While every experience of homelessness is unique, and all women are different, there are certain commonalities related to gender.
For example, families with dependent children are more likely to be female led. As children get priority through the Housing Act 1996, statutory homelessness is made up of a large number of families, most of which include a woman. Shelter has estimated that sixty percent of all homeless adults living TA in England are women, despite only making up 51% of the general population.
Single adult women however are more likely to experience hidden homelessness, seeking help from friends and family rather than statutory services, staying in vans or sleeping rough.
The single adult women who do seek statutory help may be eligible for a place in a women only refuge, if they can prove they have suffered abuse at the hands of a man, and that this has led to their homelessness. However not all women experiencing homelessness have a history of domestic violence, and even for those that do, there is such a shortage that women often end up in mainstream Temporary Accommodation (TA) regardless, where they live alongside men. These women are the topic of this blog.