Homelessness almost doubled in England since Tories took power in 2010
Up to 59,090 households, or one in every 393 in the country, were declared homeless or in “priority need” of housing between March and April 2017, a 48 percent rise on the 40,020 in the same period in 2010.
According to a report by the Department of Communities and Local Government, up to 4,060 of the 14,600 households reported to local councils in the first quarter of 2017 were in London, accounting for 28 percent of the total.
The rise is thought to be down to both the economic and housing crises affecting Britain in recent years.
The director of homelessness charity Shelter, Anne Baxendale, said the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy has brought the housing crisis into the spotlight.
Although she welcomed the government’s pledge to rehouse those made homeless in the fire, she said there are simply not enough resources for local authorities.
“While Shelter is calling for those affected to be placed in good quality temporary accommodation nearby, and we hope officials make good on their promise to do so, we know many local authorities simply don’t have enough affordable accommodation for those on low incomes,” she said, according to LocalGov.
“It’s a similar story across all London boroughs and the country more widely, so it’s no surprise that today’s homelessness stats reveal the problem is getting worse nationally, with more households becoming homeless every year.”
The number of households in temporary accommodation stood at 77,240 between March and April 2017, up 61 percent on the 48,010 in 2010.
Up to 60,980 households in temporary accommodation include dependent children and pregnant women.
The Conservative Party pledged in its 2017 manifesto to combat homelessness through its Homelessness Reduction Act.
It pledged to halve homelessness in the course of the next parliament and to “eliminate it altogether by 2027.”
A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) in January revealed that the Tory government had failed to deliver on its promise to build a million homes by May 2020, and that the new threshold would be December 2020.
Labour’s shadow housing minister, John Healey, accused the government of not being transparent enough with the public over the progress being made.
“The report confirms that housebuilding is falling well short of demand and that the cost to the public purse is ballooning, with the temporary accommodation budget growing to cope with rising homelessness,” he said, according to the Guardian.
“Not only are they not building enough homes, the level of affordable housebuilding has fallen to a 24-year low, homelessness has doubled, and the number of young homeowners has fallen by a third of a million since 2010.”