New government statistics on homelessness released

New government statistics on homelessness released

The Government has released a report, Statutory homelessness and homelessness prevention and relief, England: July to September 2017, detailing the latest statistics on homelessness.

The report showed that the number statutorily homeless households has risen to 15,290, up 6% on the previous quarter, whilst the number of households in temporary accommodation has reached almost 80,000. Furthermore, more than 120,000 were homeless in September — indicating a national crisis.

Councillor Martin Tett, Housing Spokesman for the Local Government Association, responded: “It’s clear the current situation is unsustainable for councils, and disruptive for families. On average over the last three years, councils are having to house the equivalent of an extra secondary school’s worth of homeless children in temporary accommodation every month.

“The Government can help councils tackle homelessness by adapting welfare reforms to ensure housing remains affordable for low-income families and allowing all councils, across the country, to borrow to build new homes as part of the upcoming Local Government Finance Settlement.”

Chartered Institute of Housing Chief Executive Terrie Alafat CBE added: “Today’s figures show the number of households accepted as homeless has jumped by more than 60% since the low of 2009. That’s partly because of pressures on the housing market but also some of the welfare changes that have come into force in recent years. Our research with the University of Sheffield has shown that the vast majority of councils and housing associations believe government welfare policy is hitting their efforts to tackle homelessness.

“There has been a frankly unacceptable rise in the number of households in temporary accommodation, which has soared by a staggering 65% since the low of December 2010. That figure includes more than 2,500 families with children trapped in bed and breakfast accommodation, which is often very poor quality and highly unsuitable.

“History tells us that we can reduce or even eliminate homelessness but it does require a co-ordinated approach – that means government investment, funding for affordable housing and a concerted effort across the housing and homelessness sectors.”

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