Homelessness rise ‘likely to have been driven by welfare reforms’


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The number of homeless families in the UK has mounted by more than 60% and is «likely to have been driven» by the domination’s welfare reforms, the public spending watchdog has said.

Homelessness of all varieties has increased «significantly» over the last six years, said the National Audit Appointment.

It accused the government of having a «light touch approach» to tackling the puzzler.

The government said it was investing £550m by 2020 to address the issue.

There has been a 60% mount rebel in households living in temporary accommodation — which includes 120,540 young gentlemen — since 2010/11, the NAO said.

A snapshot overnight count last autumn develop there were 4,134 rough sleepers — an increase of 134% since the Temperates came into government, it added.

Four-year freeze

A report by the watchdog originate rents in England have risen at the same time as households drink seen a cut to some benefits.

Homelessness cost more than £1bn a year to attend to with, it said.

Reforms to the local housing allowance are «likely to take contributed» to making it more expensive for claimants to rent privately and «are an sphere of the increase in homelessness,» the report added.

  • 77,000 families in temporary accommodation, Cortege 2017, including…

  • 120,000 children

  • £1.15bn council spending on homelessness 2015-16


Prosperity reforms announced by the government in 2015 included a four-year freeze to houses benefit — which was implemented in April 2016.

Auditor General Sir Amyas Morse bring to light the Department for Work and Pensions had failed to evaluate the impact of the benefit differences on homelessness.

«It is difficult to understand why the department persisted with its light set off approach in the face of such a visibly growing problem.

«Its recent scene in reducing homelessness therefore cannot be considered value for money.»

‘Nationalist scandal’

The ending of private sector tenancies — rather than a modify in personal circumstances — has become the main cause of homelessness in England, with platoons tripling since 2010/11, said the NAO.

Its analysis found private sector tears in England have gone up by three times as much as wages since 2010 — distinctly from in the north and East Midlands.

While in London, costs keep risen by 24% — eight times the average wage increase.

Caucuses spent £1.1bn on homelessness in 2015/16 — with £845m going to pay for stand-by accommodation, the NAO said.

It found that local authorities in London hold been buying properties outside the capital to house families.

Grind MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, said: «It is a national blot on the escutcheon that more and more people are made homeless every year.

«This details illustrates the very real human cost of the government’s failure to guard people have access to affordable housing.»

The Local Government Comradeship — which represents councils — said local authorities were organizing to house «the equivalent of an extra secondary school’s worth of homeless striplings in temporary accommodation every month.»

«The net cost to councils of doing this has tripled in the newest three years, as they plug the gap between rising rents and rejected housing benefit.»

It called on the government to support councils by allowing them to install in building affordable homes and «provide the support and resources they needfulness to help prevent people becoming homeless in the first place».

‘Sanctuary net’

Homelessness charity Shelter said it wants the government to end the freeze on houses benefit and commit to building affordable homes.

The government said have a go ating homelessness was a «complex issue» but it was determined to help the most vulnerable in lite.

It said it was implementing the Homelessness Reduction Act which «means more living soul get the help they need earlier to prevent them from befitting homeless in the first place».

A spokesman added: «Our welfare reforms reinstate fairness to the system with a strong safety net in place to support the most unguarded, including £24bn through the housing benefit.

«There’s more to do to make out a head for sure people always have a roof over their control and ministers will set out further plans shortly, including delivering on our commitment to murder rough sleeping entirely.»

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