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Homelessness figures show “national emergency”: Shelter

The latest set of homeless figures from the Government show the country is facing a “national emergency”, according to housing charity Shelter.

The number of households in temporary accommodation rose by 5 per cent year on year to 83,700 in the final quarter of 2018, according to official figures.

There are currently 61,740 homeless families living in temporary accommodation, including 5,710 in emergency B&B’s and hostels, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The number of families living in temporary accommodation has increased by 41 per cent over the past five years.

The way data on homelessness is collected has changed over the past year meaning that it is not possible to give comparisons for some statistics, but the housing charity Shelter says that the latest figures suggest that one new household is becoming homeless every five minutes.

The latest data shows that 58,120 households were found to be homeless and 70,250 were threatened with homelessness in the last six months of 2018.

Meanwhile, 21 per cent of households found to be homeless or threatened with homelessness lost their last home due to the ending of a private rented tenancy.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate says: “It is impossible to ignore the frightening levels of homelessness in England right now.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are desperate for help, from those sleeping on the street to families trapped in emergency B&Bs.

“More people are being pushed to the hard edge of the housing crisis by crippling private rents, frozen benefits, and endless waiting lists for social homes that don’t exist.

“It’s clear this is a national emergency that won’t go away on its own – real change must happen now.”

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