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Homeless households in England rise by more than 75% in last decade | UK News



The number of households living in temporary accommodation in England is at its highest level since 2007.

A total of 84,740 households are currently living in bed and breakfasts, hostels and other temporary accommodation at the end of March 2019 – including 126,020 children.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show the number has jumped by more than three-quarters this decade, with the latest statistics showing a 76.5% rise on the low of 48,010 at the end of 2010.

London continues to have a disproportionately high number of households in temporary accommodation, with 66% of the total for the whole of England.

The capital had 56,280 households living in temporary accommodation at the end of March, including 88,080 children.

By contrast, the North East had the fewest households at 330, while there were 960 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Polly Neate, chief executive of the charity Shelter, said: “During a year where Brexit negotiations have totally dominated the political agenda, catastrophic numbers of people have become homeless.

“Cripplingly expensive private rents, frozen housing benefits and lengthy waiting lists for social homes are pushing people to the sharp edge of a housing emergency which won’t go away without genuinely affordable homes.”

She added three million more social homes must be built in the next 20 years to tackle the housing crisis.

The statistics, while provisional, complete the first full year of data since the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) came into force in April 2018.

The act, which has been credited with preventing 58,290 households from becoming homeless, created new legal duties for local authorities and public services in England to support those most in need.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis, said: “Everyone has the right to a decent home and it’s great to see the success the HRA has had in its first year, preventing just under 60,000 households becoming homeless in England.

“Despite this over 7,000 households are currently in B&Bs, unable to access safe and secure accommodation.”

Minister for homelessness Luke Hall said: “The Homelessness Reduction Act is the most ambitious change to homelessness legislation in decades.

“Today’s figures show that progress is being made. The Act is helping people earlier so they are not having to experience homelessness in the first place.”

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