Government given urgent warning as homelessness rises for third consecutive year
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
Charity calls for debate on Kent’s homeless services
Homeless charity Crisis has urged the government to use this month's spending review to reverse cuts and build more homes, as new figures reveal that homelessness has risen for the third year in a row.
Statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) show that 53,540 households were accepted as homeless by their local council in the 2012/2013 financial year – an increase of 6% on the previous period.
The last two years has seen a 23% rise in statutory homelessness acceptances, while in the last three years there has been a 34% increase.
In the financial year 2012/13, 55,300 households were in temporary accommodation, including 4,500 living in B&Bs, and one in four became homeless because their tenancy in the private rented sector ended.
In London there has been a 16% increase in homelessness over the last year.
“This rising tide of homelessness is a direct result of cuts to housing benefit with more to come yet at a time when there is a chronic lack of affordable housing and rents are rising," said Crisis chief executive Leslie Morphy.
"Ministers can and must do more. Their immediate priorities should be to use the spending review to rein in the destructive welfare cuts they have made and focus instead on building the genuinely affordable homes Britain needs."
The figures also revealed that there was also a 10% rise in the number of households placed in temporary accommodation.
Temporary accommodation costs far more to the taxpayer than keeping a family in their own home, says Crisis.
Leslie Morphy added: “These figures are a tragedy for the tens of thousands of people made homeless during the last year, but they are bad for us all. It makes more sense and is more cost-effective to help people stay in their homes than spend far more money on temporary accommodation or support once people become homeless.”