Families stuck in temporary accommodation hits highest level since records began in 1998
The number of homeless households in temporary accommodation in England is at the highest level since records began 25 years ago.
In a grim milestone, Government figures published on Tuesday showed 104,510 households, including 64,940 with children, were living in such conditions.
They include over 13,000 forced to live in B&Bs, 5,890 in hostels and 25,750 in nightly paid privately managed accommodation.
The total figure of those living in temporary accommodation between January and March 2023 – 104,510 – is a 10% hike on the same period last year.
It is also the highest number since the Government records began in 1998.
At the time under 50,000 households were in temporary accommodation and the figure has been gradually climbing over the last 10 years.
It comes amid intense criticism of the Tories’ record on housing with over 1million people currently waiting for social housing.
John Glenton, executive director of Riverside Care and Support, said efforts in previous years to tackle homelessness did work and should be renewed.
He said: “It is very worrying to see the number of households in temporary accommodation have now hit a new record high.
“We now have the highest number of homeless households in temporary accommodation since records began 25 years ago.”
Matt Downie, the Chief Executive at Crisis, said: “Once again, we see the crippling cost that years of no investment in housing benefit, and a shameful lack of social house building, is having by trapping families in temporary accommodation.
“Not only do people not have the stability and security of a home, but they’re often left to cope in just one room, with no facilities to cook meals or do washing.”
He added: “This is unacceptable. The Westminster Government may have declared victory yesterday on a pledge to build one million homes in this parliament, but these figures highlight how out of touch they are.
“Until the Westminster Government grasps the severity of this situation, we will not see change.
“Families experiencing homelessness will continue to be commonplace and more and more children will be forced to live in cramped, unsafe temporary accommodation. Households across the country desperately need more social homes as well as investment in housing benefit so that people can afford even the cheapest of rents.”
“The Secretary of State, Michael Gove, agrees social homes are essential to solving the housing emergency, so it’s time for his government to get on and build them.”
A spokeswoman for the Department for Levelling Up said: “We are determined to prevent homelessness before it occurs. Temporary accommodation ensures no family is without a roof over their head and we have been clear that the use of B&Bs is always a last resort.
“Councils must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable for families, who have a right to appeal if they think it does not meet their household’s needs. That’s why we have given £2 billion over three years to help local authorities tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, targeted to areas where it is needed most. In London, this includes over £350 million funding through the Homelessness Prevention Grant.
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