Response to latest Government figures on statutory homelessness.
The latest Government figures on statutory homelessness in England (published today) show that the number of people applying to councils for help for housing has continued to increase. The figures also show that a worrying number of homeless people continue to be turned away.
According to analysis by Homeless Link, the umbrella body for 500 homeless charities:
Commenting on the statistics, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, Jenny Edwards said:
"The recession is bound to lead to more people not having a home and local authorities in some areas are coping with increased demand. However, we need to ask what happens to homeless people when councils turn them away.
"When people experience financial problems, they need effective help not a closed door, even if they are not defined as being a ‘priority’. We need to prevent people from facing the alternative of illegal lets, staying with friends or squats. We know these are often the last stop before the streets.
"At a time when funding for front-line homelessness services has been cut in many areas and some services are closing, we need a clearer duty for councils to offer effective advice and information to help people who are homeless but not offered accommodation.
"The fall in the number of people in temporary accommodation is welcomed but we need to invest in preventing homelessness in the first place. This makes sense for individuals without a home and society as a whole."
The statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government are available from www.communities.gov.uk.