The number of homeless families with children who have been living in a B&B for over six weeks has leapt by 106% in just one year statistics released by the government reveal today.
The shocking report, which both charities and the Office for National Statistics say woefully under-estimates the scale of the problem, shows that over 100,000 children were homeless in the latest period with 68,560 households currently living in temporary accommodation.
Every single measure of homelessness is up, with the total number of households accepted as homeless between July and September this year hitting the highest levels seen so far under this government with a rise of 6% on the previous quarter*. The most common reason for families becoming homeless was the ending of a tenancy by a private landlord. A new benefit cap – meaning more housing benefit cuts – plus huge cuts to household incomes when Universal Credit is fully introduced mean the homelessness epidemic is only just getting started.
*These figures only include households accepted as homeless by local authorities. In practice that means only those with children, over pensionable age or people with a serious health condition or disability. They do not include nearly 2,500 households judged to be ‘intentionally homeless’ by councils, or the number of families who are homless but not in ‘priority need’ – just under 500o households. The figures do not include single people sleeping on the streets – also at record levels – or the potentially hundreds of thousands of people sleeping on a friends sofa, squatting or living in an over-crowded family home. You can view the statistics at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-july-to-september-2015
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