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Action demanded as more homeless families are denied help

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Action demanded as more homeless families are denied help

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Local Government

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A homelessness charity is demanding more is done to help homeless families as new government figures reveal that the amount being turned away by councils has risen.

Statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that although there was a 5% drop in the number of families presenting themselves as homeless across England between October and December 2013, there was also a 5% drop in the number accepted as homeless after asking for help.

In 2013's Q4, there were 28,020 homeless applications across the country, compared to 29,060 in Q4 2012.

However, Q4 2013's acceptance figure of 12,890 represented a 5% drop compared to the 13,570 accepted in Q4 2012.

And the amount of people housed by councils in temporary accommodation also rose in Q4 2013 - up 7% on Q4 2013 (56,930 compared to 53,130).

Rick Henderson, Homeless Link's chief executive, said: “The fact that fewer people are approaching their council for help is encouraging. However, with more than half of applications being turned away, we have to ask what happens to those who don’t get help.

“Although we recognise that councils have struggled to meet the demand, there needs to be suitable alternatives in place. If people are not supported to find housing, they may be forced into illegal lets, sofa-surfing or even onto the streets.

“We can prevent this not only with better advice and support but also with more targeted support to stop people losing their homes in the first place. The most common reason for people becoming homeless is their landlords ending their tenancy, a situation that in many cases could be prevented.”

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