A record variety of households are being compelled to stay in temporary accommodation, figures present – with specialists blaming a “shameful” lack of social housing.
A particular investigation by The Impartial earlier this week revealed nearly all of native authorities did not construct a single council home final yr as ready lists continued to soar.
Now official figures present nearly 105,000 households have been in temporary accommodation on the finish of March this yr – a 25-year excessive. This included greater than 131,000 children, the very best stage since information for that measure started in 2004.
Campaigners slammed the federal government for failing to assist the constructing of reasonably priced properties and warned “the time for empty phrases on constructing social properties” had “gone”.
Matt Downie, chief govt of Disaster, mentioned households have been trapped in temporary acommodation on account of “the crippling price [of] years of no funding in housing profit and a shameful lack of social home constructing”.
He added: “Not solely do folks not have the steadiness and safety of a house, however they’re typically left to manage in only one room, with no amenities to cook dinner meals or do washing.” He mentioned households throughout the nation “desperately want extra social properties”.
Paula Barker, the shadow homelessness minister, mentioned the figures have been a “shameful indictment” of the federal government’s record, which have “devastating penalties for 1000’s of households and children”.
Of the 104,510 households in temporary accommodation by the tip of March – a excessive since information started in 1998 – 64,940 have been households with children. Each of those figures are up by about 10 per cent on the identical interval final yr.
Temporary accommodation is obtainable to homeless households who’re ready for his or her utility for assist to be processed and to be provided a settled dwelling.
The most recent statistics comes only a day after Michael Gove mentioned the federal government would slash purple tape to handle the housing disaster and permit outlets, takeaways and betting outlets to be become living areas. The housing secretary additionally pledged to spark intensive constructing in cities and alter planning legal guidelines to permit extra dwelling extensions.
His bulletins have been mocked in the Home of Lords by Labour’s Baroness Taylor who mentioned: “With over 1,000,000 folks on social housing ready lists, and seven,000 social rented properties constructed final yr, does the minister actually suppose a number of flats constructed over chip outlets goes to unravel the issue?”
There’s a enormous want for reasonably priced housing, and native authorities – who have been historically massive builders of social housing – have decreased the variety of properties they construct in current many years. Evaluation of presidency knowledge by The Impartial discovered that in every of the final 5 monetary years, two-thirds of councils did not construct a single dwelling themselves.
In 2021-22, 207 out of 307 councils that offered knowledge to the federal government had not constructed a house in that interval. A snap survey of district and borough councils in England carried out by The Impartial additionally discovered that simply over half of native authorities didn’t construct a single dwelling in the entire of 2022.
As the newest figures have been launched, Shelter chief govt Polly Neate mentioned “the time for empty phrases on constructing social properties and overdue guarantees on ending no fault evictions has gone”.
She added: “To finish homelessness for good, we want genuinely reasonably priced properties. The secretary of state Michael Gove agrees social properties are important to fixing the housing emergency, so it’s time for his authorities to get on and construct them.”
Riverside, an organisation which describes itself as the most important supplier of accommodation for folks affected by homelessness, described the figures as “very worrying”.
The figures, launched by the Division for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, additionally present practically 80,000 households confronted homelessness in England between January and March – the very best determine sine 2018.
Charity Shelter mentioned a serious contributing issue to rising homelessness was the instability of personal renting, with the lack of a tenancy now the main trigger.
Within the final yr, 24,060 households have been threatened with homelessness as a results of a Part 21 no-fault eviction, which permits landlords to repossess their properites with out having to determine fault on the a part of the tenant. That is up 21 per cent in comparison with the earlier 12 months.
In the meantime, hire costs hit a new record in the previous week, with property web site Rightmove recording that the common hire exterior London had risen to £1,231 monthly.
The Salvation Military warned that until the freeze on housing advantages is lifted, extra households would lose their properties on account of hire rises.
Nick Redmore, the charity’s director of homelessness companies, mentioned: “As we speak’s figures present extra folks than ever are dropping the battle to maintain a roof over their heads. Until housing advantages are urgently raised to cowl the price of hire, the homelessness disaster will solely worsen.”
1,760 households have been made homeless on account of hire arrears in the interval January to March, in contrast with 1,390 in the identical interval a yr earlier.
Households needing assist from native authorities as a result of they have been homeless or threatened with homelessness by March this yr rose 5.7 per cent on the identical interval final yr, to 83,240.
Of the 41,950 households assessed as homeless and subsequently owed a reduction obligation – assist to safe settled accommodation – by their native authority between January and March this yr, 11,250 have been households with children – up 12.1 per cent from the identical quarter final yr.
Of the households in temporary accommodation in the primary quarter of the yr, 13,780 have been living in mattress and breakfasts (B&Bs). That is up by greater than a 3rd (37.4 per cent) from the identical time final yr.
The variety of households who have been tough sleeping once they approached their native authority for assist was up by nearly a fifth (18.2 per cent) from the primary quarter final yr, to three,770 households.
A DLUHC spokesperson mentioned that the federal government was “bettering availability of social housing”.
They added: “We’re dedicated to delivering 300,000 new properties per yr and investing £11.5 billion to construct the reasonably priced, high quality properties this nation wants.
“We’re decided to stop homelessness earlier than it happens. Temporary accommodation ensures no household is and not using a roof over their head, however we’ve got been clear that the usage of B&Bs is at all times a final resort.”