80% rise in search for advice about homelessness over last three years

Housing charity Shelter reveals that he number of families with children needing advice about homelessness has increased by 92% over the same period

The new figures show a 17 per cent increase in visits to pages providing homelessness advice on the Shelter website, compared to a 3 per cent increase last year.

The Shelter helpline, staffed by 50 specialist housing advisers and part-funded by Marks & Spencer, has offered advice to 57,000 people so far this year.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive, said: "Shelter offers vital help to people who have hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to turn. Our advisers give them the advice and support they need to get back on their feet."

Earlier this week, Shelter warned that 75,000 children in Britain will be without a permanent home this Christmas, living in temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfasts or hostels.