Mark Conrad 23 July 2018

Working homeless figures soar over five years

The number of families described as ‘working homeless’ has soared over the past five years, housing charity Shelter has warned.

Figures published by the charity and campaign group showed that more than half of families housed in temporary accommodation after being accepted as homeless by their local authority are in work.

Around 33,000 families are now defined as ‘working homeless’ – 55% of all families in temporary accommodation.

That compares with 19,000 families in 2013, the last time Shelter assessed the figures – an increase of 73%.

The fresh data was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Shelter blamed the huge increase on high private sector rents, benefit cuts and caps, unstable tenancies and a shortage of social housing.

Chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, described the situation as ‘disgraceful’ and warned that even when families were working flat out many cannot afford high rents and find themselves in unsuitable temporary homes.

She added: ‘We cannot allow struggling families to slip through the cracks created by our housing crisis.

‘The Government must urgently come up with a new plan for social housing that delivers the genuinely affordable homes we desperately need.’

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesman said: ‘Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live, and we are providing more than £1.2bn so all those left homeless get the support they need.’

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