Homelessness on the rise

9 December 2010

A family

Government figures revealing the first sustained rise in homelessness since 2003 are extremely worrying, Shelter said today.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) reported that 11,840 households were accepted as homeless across the country, an increase of 17% from the previous quarter.

This is the third quarter in a row that the numbers have risen, making it the first sustained increase since 2003. The figures also showed 49,680 homeless households in temporary accommodation. See the CLG figures in full

Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said: ‘Already in Britain every two minutes someone faces the nightmare of losing their home, so it’s really worrying to see such a huge increase in homelessness.

‘We know from the people we see every day that just one single thing, like a bout of illness, rent increase or drop in income, is all that’s needed to push someone into spiral of debt and arrears that can lead to the loss of their home.

‘It’s vital that anyone struggling with their housing costs seeks independent advice as soon as possible.’

Shelter is alarmed at recent government proposals to scale back homelessness legislation given that their figures signal a further possible increase in homelessness.

Mr Robb continued: ‘The rise in homelessness, combined with government cuts and the threat of job losses on the horizon, means that now is the very worst time to be reducing the rights of homeless people.’

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