Homeless families rise by one fifth in West
The number of homeless families living in bed-and-breakfasts in the West has soared by a fifth in a year, a charity reveals today.
The National Housing Federation warns the figure is rising along with homelessness and calls for urgent action by the Government.
Nationally, the number of homeless families in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation jumped by 1,099 to 3,615 over just 12 months.
Of these, 153 are in the West, which has the worst figures after London and the South East. This has risen by 19 per cent and includes 24 in Gloucester, up by seven in a year. There were 18 families in both Mendip, up one, and Taunton, although that was one fewer, and 14 in Bournemouth, where there were none the previous year.
Create the wow factor in your new kitchen by taking advantage of this fantastic NEFF promotion. Simply buy four Neff appliances and you can purchase a Neff dishwasher for half price.
Terms: Excludes warming drawers & accessories
Contact: 01458 550009
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Sedgemoor had seven families, Stroud, Swindon, Weymouth & Portland and South Gloucestershire all had six and North Devon, Tewkesbury and Bath & North East Somerset five each.
Three families were in emergency Bristol B&Bs, up from zero just 12 months earlier, and there were none in Wiltshire, West Somerset and North Dorset.
Herefordshire had five families, down eight, and South Somerset six, a decrease of 11, which is one of the biggest drops in the country.
The NHF says the past two years has seen a 26 per cent hike in homelessness – the first in seven years.
Charity chief executive David Orr said: “Every child deserves a decent home to come back to after school, where they feel secure, and where they can sit down to do their homework.”
He said temporary accommodation in houses of flats leased by councils and housing associations provides short-term accommodation to more than 26,000 families.
But it warns that such short-term accommodation is expensive, so from next April families living in these crisis homes could be hit by the Government’s benefits crackdown, limiting claims to £500 a week.
Mr Orr continued: “Without the safety net of temporary accommodation, thousands more families will find themselves in a vicious cycle of homelessness.
“It is essential that the Government puts in place measures to protect this crucial service and the vulnerable families who depend on it.”
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “There is no excuse for any family to be stuck in bed-and-breakfast accommodation, and we have offered support to those 20 councils who between them account for 80 per cent of families in this situation for an unacceptably long time.”
“We have some of the strongest protections in the world to safeguard people from homelessness, and levels remains lower than in 28 of the last 30 years. Councils have a range of options at their disposal and to help them further we’ve increased the Discretionary Housing Pot to about £400 million over the spending period.”