Charity concerned of UK having a â€œhomelessness crisisâ€
It has been revealed that thousands of homeless families are being housed in temporary accommodation, with numbers reaching the 65,000 mark making it the highest since 2008.
Following the release of new figures stating the amount of homeless families in temporary accommodation, homelessness charity Shelter has said the UK is “sleepwalking into a homelessness crisis,” reports the Independent.
The number of families, couples and individuals classed as living in temporary “self-contained annexes” has increased by 46% since last year. Shelter compared the single rooms to “bedsits or prefabs”, saying they are usually small units of a low standard, often with very limited facilities such as a gas stove or single hob
Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of Crisis, said: “Clearly something is going badly wrong with our private rented sector. More and more households are struggling to pay their rent in an increasingly insecure market, while cuts to housing benefit have left the safety net in tatters. For anyone finding themselves in difficulty, the prospects are decidedly bleak. England is sleepwalking into a homelessness crisis, and we’ve yet to hear what our new Government intends to do about it. Local authorities are in an impossible situation. We need decisive political action to fix our broken private rented sector, along with radical solutions to tackle the severe shortage of affordable homes. At the same time, we must have a safety net that genuinely protects tenants struggling to make ends meet.”
Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: “Today’s figures are a glaring reminder of the impact welfare cuts and our drought of genuinely affordable homes is having on families and children in England. Behind these figures are real families who’ve gone through the trauma of losing their home and are then left to linger in cramped and unfit B&B rooms, as overburdened councils struggle to find them anywhere that’s stable and affordable to live. Further welfare cuts could make this a whole lot worse. If the government really wants to heal the housing crisis and bring down the benefit bill for good, the only solution is to invest in building homes that people on low incomes can actually afford.”
A DCLG spokesman said: “This Government is making sure that action is being taken to ensure that all homeless people have access to the help they need to get back on their feet. Since 2010, we have increased spending to prevent homelessness, making over £500million available to local authorities and voluntary sector to support the most vulnerable in society and put strong protections in place to guard people against the threat of homelessness. This is to ensure there is no return to the days 10 years ago, when homelessness in England was nearly double what it is today.”
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