New cases of homelessness fell by 23 per cent in the first quarter of this year in comparison to the same period in 2005, according to figures released today.
There were 20,730 household acceptances between January and March this year – 23 per cent lower than in 2005.
The statistics also revealed that there were 96,370 households in temporary accommodation on 31 March 2006, two per cent lower than in December 2005. Eighty five per cent were in self-contained accommodation with five per cent in bed and breakfast hotels – 1,630 fewer than the year previously.
Ruth Kelly today highlighted the progress made in tackling homelessness 40 years on from the broadcast of the programme ‘Cathy Come Home’.
In the TV programme, Cathy was a married mother who became destitute and had her three children taken into care.
The secretary of state for communities and local government said: “Cathy in the modern day would find herself in a much changed situation; in fact her family, like many others today, would have been prevented from being homeless in the first place.”
She added that there was a stronger safety net in place to help vulnerable families and people.
“We also need to go further to help today’s Cathy’s and that means helping more people out of temporary accommodation and overcrowded accommodation including by building more homes,” she concluded.