Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Households in bed and breakfast up 29 per cent while temporary private lets drop

Homelessness rises 17 per cent

The number of homeless households has risen by 17 per cent in a year, new government figures have shown.

The figures for April to June 2011 showed the number of people accepted by councils as homeless and in a priority group rose from 10,100 in the second quarter of 2010 to 11,820 in the same period this year.

The figures grew 3 per cent between the first and second quarters of this year after seasonal adjustment.

The statistics, published today, showed the number of households placed in bed and breakfast accommodation by councils rose while the number in homes leased from private landlords by councils and housing associations for use as temporary accommodation fell.

There was a 12 per cent drop in the number of households in private accommodation leased by homeless landlords from 29,820 to 26,240 households between the second quarters of 2010 and 2011 whereas the numbers in bed and breakfast grew 29 per cent from 2,410 to 3,120 in the same period.

There were 190 households headed by 16- and 17-year-olds in bed and breakfast and 70 of them had been there for six weeks or more.

The number of families with children in bed and breakfast also grew 63 per cent from 740 to 1,210 in a year and 160 of them had been there for six weeks or more.

Government guidelines say families with children and 16-and 17-year-olds should not be put in bed and breakfast except in an emergency and then for no more than six weeks.

The number of households made homeless when their tenancy ended increased compared to the same quarter last year, from 1,460 to 2,130. There as a rise in number of households who lost their home due to mortgage arrears from 230 to 340 in the year. However the level of homelessness due to mortgage payment problems was 2 per cent, far lower than its 12 per cent peak in the 1991 downturn.

Jenny Edwards, chief executive of Homeless Link, which represents 500 homelessness charities, said: ‘The number of homeless people going to councils for help continues to rise. This news underlines the need for urgent action to address the chronic shortage of affordable housing in our cities and our countryside.

‘If we want a country where everyone has a roof over their head, we must make it a priority to build truly affordable homes.  More land needs to be allocated for the right type of housing, in the right locations. An efficient planning system is key, with a strong focus on delivering affordable housing.

‘The government’s proposal to reform local planning policy is an important milestone towards meeting this need for more homes.  This is not just about buildings, it about stopping the damage that homelessness causes to individual lives and communities.’

 

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