Number of homeless families up by almost 1,000 in three months, new figures reveal

Number of households in temporary accommodation also up 6 per cent on last year

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 14 December 2017 11:15
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Knowing so many 'will find themselves homeless and living in temporary accommodation this Christmas is nothing short of a tragedy', charity says
Knowing so many 'will find themselves homeless and living in temporary accommodation this Christmas is nothing short of a tragedy', charity says

An increase in homeless figures is "nothing short of a tragedy," a charity has said after a Government report showed the number of households in temporary accommodation has surged by 65 per cent since 2010.

Local authorities accepted 15,290 households as being statutorily homeless between 1 July and 30 September, up 6 per cent from 14,390 on the previous quarter.

It is also an increase of 2 per cent from 14,930 on the same quarter of last year.

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Across England, on September 30, the number of households in temporary accommodation was 79,190, up 6% from the same date last year - and a 65% increase from a low point of 48,010 on December 31 2010.

Of those 79,190 households, 61,090 included dependent children and/or a pregnant woman, within which there were 121,360 children or expected children.

Some 132 households with children were former residents of Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk, within which there were 261 children, the report said.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of the homelessness charity Crisis, said in a statement sent to The Independent: “Knowing that nearly 80,000 households will find themselves homeless and living in temporary accommodation this Christmas is nothing short of a tragedy.

"Temporary accommodation is often cramped, unsuitable, and sometimes even dangerous, and no place for anyone to call home."

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) report said that between July and September, 214 homeless acceptances were reported by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for the residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk.

It said acceptances were not reported in the second quarter of 2017 because the household level information still needed to be collected and processed. There were a further 181 households living in temporary accommodation from areas surrounding the Tower and Walk.

Of the total 395 affected households, 300 were living in hotels, 75 households were in self-contained and serviced apartments, nine were living with friends and family under their own temporary arrangements and 11 had moved into permanent settled accommodation, the report said.

Paul Noblet, head of public affairs for Centrepoint, said: “We’re facing a crisis in homelessness and these worrying figures provide only a limited picture of a much larger problem. We know thousands more young people are approaching their councils for help, data which the government chooses not to collect."

He added: “Young people not much older than many of our children and grandchildren are being confronted with impossible choices that no one should have to make.

“Homelessness does not need to define a young person’s life if they receive the support they need at the right time.”

Across England, local authorities also took action to prevent and relieve homelessness for 52,190 households between July and September 2017, down 1 per cent on 52,880 in the same quarter of 2016.

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