The definition of homelessness adopted must be consistent with that issued to partnerships at the vision and scoping stage. This is:
Definition of ‘homelessness’
Statutory definitions of homelessness are typically narrow, relating only to those in Priority Need and accepted as homeless by local authorities. This paper adopts a wider definition as used by Fitzpatrick et al. (2011) which includes:
• People sleeping rough;
• Single homeless people living in hostels, shelters and temporary supported accommodation;
• Statutory homeless households; and
• ‘Hidden homeless’ households, including those living in overcrowded conditions and temporarily sharing with friends and family.
In this context, individuals at risk of losing their accommodation should not be classified as homeless although we acknowledge that each situation will be slightly different and some discretion will be required. If you consider that you can justify classifying someone as homeless under the ‘hidden homeless’ aspect of the definition provided then it is fine to do so. The service user record will be updated by projects as beneficiaries’ circumstances change so through the Common Data Framework we will be able to identify people who do not have an accommodation need at the start of their engagement but do become homeless throughout the period of their involvement.