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Concern as 50% of people seeking homeless help from councils turned away

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Concern as 50% of people seeking homeless help from councils turned away

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government

Concern as 50% of people seeking homeless help from councils turned away Concern as 50% of people seeking homeless help from councils turned away

Homeless Link has welcomed a halt to the rising number of people seeking help from councils but raises concerns about the options available to those who are turned away.

The latest government homelessness figures show a 3% fall in the number of households in England who approached their council for help. However, over half of those who seek help (53%) have had their application for help turned down.

There has also been a rise (8%) in the number of homeless households placed in temporary accommodation and over a quarter (27%) of these households are being placed outside their local area.

These increases come at a time when investment in services to tackle the problem of homelessness is in decline.

Commenting on the figures, Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said: “Whilst it is encouraging that the number of people seeking help with homelessness from councils has not risen further, it is concerning that so many people continue to be turned away. Many of these individuals turn to charities to provide support and help them get their lives back on track when they have nowhere else to go.

“It is also disappointing to see the accommodation crisis leading to more families being placed in unsuitable temporary accommodation such as bed & breakfasts. This is not a suitable solution to the problem and further highlights the need for an increased supply of affordable homes.

“Although there are signs that the economy is beginning to recover, we must not lose sight of the thousands of people with no place to call home. It is vital that investment in homeless support and prevention continues so that the benefits of the recovery can be shared by all.”

According to analysis by Homeless Link:

• Applications in Q3 2013 (28,380) are down by 3% from Q3 2012 (29,130)
• Acceptances (13,330) decreased by 4% compared to Q3 2012 (13,890)
• Rate of acceptance is 47%, similar to 48% in Q3 2012
• There has been an 8% increase in use of temporary accommodation (57,350 in Q3 2013 from 52,960 in Q3 2012). This is a 17% increase on Q3 2011 (49,100)
• B&B usage is up by 6% (4,600)
• Other Private Sector accommodation is up by 42% (12,820) on Q3 2012 (9,000) and now accounts for 22% of temporary accommodation. This compares to 17% in Q3 2012 and 14% in Q3 2011
• Households placed in other LA areas has also increased from 9,160 to 11,650 (up 27%)
• The increase in homelessness due to the end of shorthold tenancies continues to rise, accounting for 26% of all acceptances. This is an increase of 18% on Q3 2012 and of 53% on Q3 2011

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