Number of households homeless or threatened with homelessness increases by 11% in one year
David Cameron used his New Year message in 2016 to commit his last four years in Downing Street to beating poverty. The speech was needed to gloss over rapidly rising hardship and homelessness arising from austerity measures, now proven to be little more than a class war strategy and not an economic programme. At the time, homelessness had doubled in just six years.
Cameron said tackling poverty will be one of four priorities in 2016 and said his 10 years as Prime Minister will be looked back on as one of the “great reforming decades”. He went on to say – “So we need a more targeted strategy for those most in need of help, focusing on tackling the root causes like worklessness and family instability. ”
On the dawn of a new decade, those hollow words saw homelessness reach new records and hardship on almost every metric dramatically increase.
The last year alone has witnessed an 11.4% increase in the number of households assessed by local authorities as either homeless or threatened with homelessness. And these are the latest government figures for England.
One in every 200 people in the country are without a home
In the three months up until June 2019, 68,170 households were owed a homelessness prevention or relief duty from their local authority, up from 61,210 in the same quarter last year.
The number of households in temporary accommodation is the highest in over a decade, with 86,130 households living in various forms of temporary housing at the end of June this year.
In London, 16.07 households were living in temporary accommodation per 1,000 households overall, compared to a national average of 1.47 households per 1000.
Yesterday, Shelter published its annual review of homelessness in England, which found that one in every 200 people are without a home. This figure is based on the sum of those in official temporary accommodation, an estimation of those who have arranged their own temporary accommodation and the number of people rough sleeping.
Households with dependent children accounted for 61,800 (71.8%) of those living in temporary accommodation, totally 127,370 dependent children living in temporary accommodation overall.
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A total of 23,430 (27.2%) of households in temporary accommodation were placed in accommodation outside of their local authority, with London accounting for 86.1% of the out of district placements.
The new Conservative government has pledged, as did David Cameron, to tackle this failure of the state – in its 2019 manifesto to end rough sleeping by the end of this parliamentary term in five years. In 2025, homelessness will be up another 50 per cent at it current trajectory.