Homelessness 'rises 25% in 3 years'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities
Homelessness rises 25% in 3 years
Homelessness has increased by 25% in the last three years, according to new figures.
Data analysts SSentif’s research shows that 50,290 families and individuals were classed as homeless in 2011/12, up from 40,020 in 2009/10.
However, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has claimed that the figures do not represent the "bigger picture".
According to SSentif's figures, regionally the highest percentage increase in homelessness was reported in the East of England, which showed a 44% increase in the number of households accepted as homeless between 2009/10 and 2011/12.
Overall, the only region to have reduced the number of households declared homeless was the North East, which showed a reduction of just over 10%. Elsewhere, there were increases across the board.
Amongst individual local authorities there were reports of increases of more than 500% over the last two years.
Broxbourne Council reported just one household as homeless in 2009/10, but this had risen to a total of 119 households in the 12 months leading up to March 2012.
Judy Aldred, managing director of SSentif, said: “Whilst these figures are perhaps not surprising given the state of the economy, some of the results for specific councils are quite shocking.
"By analysing the data at council level we were able to highlight some areas that are showing much greater increases than the national average.
"We were also able to cross reference the data with spending on homelessness which dropped in England from £213.7m to £199.8m between 2009/10 and 2010/11. In Birmingham, where homelessness increased 25% from 09/10 to 10/11, spend dropped from £7.8m to £5.5m (29%).”
In response to the figures, a DCLG spokesman said: "The bigger picture, not represented in this narrow and misleading snapshot, is that homelessness is actually lower than for 28 of the last 30 years - and is half the average rate seen under the previous government.
"This country has one of the strongest homelessness safety nets in the world, and these figures represent the thousands of families and vulnerable households helped into alternative accommodation by councils.
“We have maintained funding for Homelessness Grant at 2010/11 levels with £400m over the next 4 years, and on top of that we announced an additional £70m investment over the last year."