Homeless households in temporary accommodation rises 123 per cent

The number of homeless households living in temporary
accommodation has risen 123 per cent to 100,810 since Labour came
to power in 1997, new figures reveal, writes Lauren

Although the rise can in part be explained by the extension of
the list of priority groups to which local authorities must provide
immediate homeless assistance, the deputy prime minister himself
admitted he was “alarmed” by the latest statistics.

But John Prescott also stressed that only 18 per cent of those
in temporary accommodation were in bed and breakfast hotels,
hostels or refuges.

The remaining 82 per cent of households have been placed by
local authorities in self-contained homes owned by private or
social landlords.

However, homelessness charity Shelter described the situation as
a “scandal” and called on the government to act now.

Director Adam Sampson said: “This is an appalling watershed for
homeless families trapped in temporary accommodation.

“The government’s own reports show that if it is serious about
tackling child poverty and social exclusion it must do more to get
homeless households out of temporary accommodation.”

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister announced £60
million for local authorities and voluntary sector agencies for
2005/6 to deliver frontline and take forward other initiatives to
reduce homelessness.

A further £90 million was also announced to improve hostel
accommodation and the services they provide.

Homelessness statistics from www.odpm.gov.uk

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