Homeless household acceptances soar by 5%
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
16% rise in demand for homeless services as bed spaces decrease
The number of applicants accepted as homeless in 2013's second quarter was up 5% on the same period in 2012.
Between April and June this year, 13,460 households were accepted as owed a main homelessness duty. The quarter's figure represented a 1% rise on the year's first quarter, which saw 13,380 accepted.
The new figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government also reveal that 56,210 households were in temporary accommodation on 30 June this year, 9% higher than at the same date in 2012.
A total of 28,240 households presented as homeless to local authorities in Q2. Of these, 48% were accepted as homeless, 26% were found not to be homeless, 18% were found to be homeless but not in priority need and 8% were deemed to be intentionally homeless and in priority need.
In London, the number of households accepted as being owed a main homelessness duty was 4,230, an increase of 26% from 3,350 during the same quarter a year earlier, and accounting for 31% of the total.
Conversely, the number of homelessness acceptances in the rest of England decreased by 3% from 9,520 during April to June 2012 to 9,230 during April to June 2013.
According to the DCLG, the main reason for the drastic rise in the capital was the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy, the cause in 34% of cases.
With 1,450 cases, the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy as a cause of homelessness was up 78% on 2012's Q2.
In the wake of the figures, the London Assembly's Green Party members have hit out at Mayor Boris Johnson.
Darren Johnson AM said: “The Mayor has failed to recognise that private rented housing is simply too expensive and insecure in London, made worse by benefit cuts. The tragic consequence is that councils struggle to help people into a stable home, and they end up living in sheds, sleeping on friends’ sofas or stuck in B&Bs.
“The Mayor’s aims of halving the number of people who are homeless and of ending rough sleeping are distant dreams if things continue in this direction. Nothing less than a radical change to private rented housing will do.”