1000’s extra working households are homeless or going through homelessness in Englandaccording to the most recent statistics, which additionally present that nearly 200 households with kids have spent a minimum of 5 years in a hostel.
Homelessness charities mentioned the figures are “a symptom of the massive paucity of genuinely inexpensive properties” as they referred to as on the Authorities to lift the native housing allowance (LHA) in order that it covers hovering personal rents.
A complete of 298,430 households had been assessed as being owed a homelessness responsibility as a consequence of homelessness or threatened with homelessness within the yr to March 2023, the Authorities mentioned, which is the very best determine since that measure started being recorded 5 years in the past.
That is up 6.8% from the earlier yr and likewise 3% above the pre-pandemic degree in 2019-20, the Division for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities mentioned.
Households are owed what is called a aid responsibility by native authorities if they’re already homeless or a prevention responsibility if they’re threatened with homelessness, with councils serving to them to seek out different lodging.
Within the yr to March, 42,620 households wanted such assist the place the principle applicant was in full-time work – an increase of 10.8% on the earlier yr’s determine of 38,460.
The statistics confirmed households needing such assist the place the principle applicant was retired was up by virtually a fifth (19.3%) from 7,420 to eight,850 within the yr to March.
Homeless charity St Mungo’s has written to the Chancellor to “imploring him as soon as once more to lift housing profit in order that it covers the underside 30% of native rents”.
LHA charges are used to calculate housing profit for tenants renting from personal landlords however Homeless Hyperlink, the membership physique for frontline homelessness companies in England, mentioned a failure to lift this consistent with rising rents means “individuals who depend on advantages now have zero inexpensive choices to hire privately”.
The Authorities mentioned it has invested in housing assist to assist ease the stress of rising rents however added that LHA charges usually are not supposed to cowl all rents in all areas.
Friday’s figures additionally confirmed the prolonged intervals of time folks have spent in non permanent lodging.
Of the 104,510 households in non permanent lodging in England on the finish of March, 16,230 (16%) had been within the lodging for one to 2 years.
Virtually 1 / 4 – 24% or 24,830 households had been within the state of affairs for 2 to 5 years and virtually a fifth – 18% or 18,340 – for a minimum of 5 years.
Below laws that got here into drive in 2004, using B&Bs for households is prohibited besides in an emergency, and even then it shouldn’t be used for longer than six weeks.
The newest figures present that some 350 households had spent a minimum of 5 years in a hostel – a class that features reception centres, emergency models and refuges – whereas 180 households had spent this size of time in a mattress and breakfast lodge.
A complete of 64,940 households with kids had been in non permanent lodging on March 31 of this yr, of which 10,030 (15%) had been there for one to 2 years, 17,100 (26%) for 2 to 5 years and 13,530 (21%) for a minimum of 5 years.
There have been 190 households with kids that had spent a minimum of 5 years in a hostel, whereas 60 had spent this era in a bed-and-breakfast lodge.
Emma Haddad, St Mungo’s chief govt, mentioned the most recent statistics are “but extra devastating proof of how the shortage of inexpensive housing is leading to 1000’s of individuals unable to maintain a roof over their heads” and added that the “freeze on housing profit is feeding a rising non permanent lodging invoice”.
Rick Henderson of Homeless Hyperlink mentioned Chancellor Jeremy Hunt should use his Autumn Assertion to “uplift LHA to assist stop 1000’s extra folks, together with kids, from changing into homeless, while serving to these which are experiencing homelessness discover a house they will afford”.
The Salvation Military mentioned the “freeze on the native housing allowance has not solely blown a gap by way of housing profit, placing 1000’s of weak folks at risk of dropping their properties however is wrecking Authorities efforts to deal with this downside” however insisted the ministers have the “energy to place issues proper”.
Polly Neate, chief govt of Shelter, mentioned the “catastrophic failure to construct sufficient genuinely inexpensive social properties” is depriving kids of a secure and settled house, whereas Disaster chief govt Matt Downie, mentioned the figures confirmed “the Westminster Authorities’s failure to get a grip on our crumbling housing market”.
Shelter mentioned the Authorities can “deliver this nightmare to an finish by constructing the social housing we’re sorely missing, and by instantly unfreezing housing profit so that individuals can afford to pay personal rents within the meantime”.
A Authorities spokesperson mentioned: “We’re serving to to ease the stress of rising rents and investing over £30 billion on housing assist this yr on prime of report monetary assist price round £3,300 per family.
“We’ve additionally maintained our £1 billion increase to Native Housing Allowance whereas our Discretionary Housing funds present a security internet for anybody struggling.
“However, the secret is stopping homelessness earlier than it happens, which is why we now have given £2 billion over three years to assist native authorities deal with homelessness and tough sleeping.”