Chris Mahony 28 January 2020

Seven out of 10 councils overspend on homelessness

Seven out of 10 English councils overspent their homelessness budgets in 2018/19 by a combined total of nearly £115m, Local Government Association (LGA) analysis has found.

The association blamed the shortage of affordable housing and welfare changes, including the freeze on local housing allowance.

A LGA report suggested that more than 7,100 households were in bed and breakfast accommodation –the highest since 2004 – while the number of households in temporary accommodation has risen by almost 80% since 2010.

LGA housing spokesman, Cllr David Renard, said: ‘To reverse rising levels of homelessness, which represent huge human consequences and financial costs, the Government needs to invest in homelessness prevention.

‘Councils want to work with Government to be able to prevent homelessness before it happens but, as a result of unprecedented funding pressures, they are becoming increasingly limited in what they can do.’

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been asked for comment.

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