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    A report reveals that almost six in ten homeless people who approach council housing services are turned away after receiving limited or no help. 

    The charity Crisis conducted a mystery shopping exercises which covered sixteen local authorities across England and found that many homeless people are forced to sleep on the streets, ‘sofa surf’ or live in squats, despite seeking help, reports Inside Housing.

    Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said the findings were ‘nothing short of a scandal’. The mystery shoppers presented themselves as single people without ‘priority’ need.

    They visited 87 councils and 57% received little or no help. The reports also shows that in 29 visits that took place just in London, councils prevented mystery shoppers from receiving adequate assessments.

    Homeless people without priority need do not have to be housed, but councils have duties under the 1996 Housing Act to provide them with meaningful assessments, advice and assistance.

    Where shoppers presented themselves as having learning difficulties or as escaping domestic violence, just 20 out of 52 cases were considered a priority.

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    October 16, 2014 by Laura Matthews Categories: Homelessness

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