The homeless crisis in the UK continues to grow with shocking new government figures showing that homelessness has rocketed in England since 2010.
Data analyzed by homelessness charity Shelter shows that 56,600 people accepted as homeless by councils in 2015 was 33% higher than in 2010.
The charity says that people losing their privately-rented homes is the single biggest cause of the crisis.
Last year alone, around 17,000 families reportedly became homeless after being evicted from privately-rented homes.
Shortage of housing, rising rents and shrinking housing benefit support are the root causes of rising homelessness: https://t.co/5aXA2gw87O
— Shelter (@Shelter) March 24, 2016
Shelter’s analysis, published on Wednesday, also found that the number of homeless families forced to live in emergency B&B’s and hostels has gone up by over 100 percent since 2010.
Shelter helps millions of people across the UK each year who find themselves destitute or forced to live in temporary accommodation.
The group’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said Britain is gripped by a severe housing crisis.
“The devastating rise in homelessness revealed by today’s figures provides unquestionable proof this country is once again at the mercy of a housing crisis,” he said.
“As the number of homeless people continues to grow, it’s clear that the modest proposals on rough-sleeping in the budget are simply inadequate given the scale of this problem, and will not reach the thousands of homeless families hidden away in cramped B&B’s and dingy hostel rooms.”
Last week, Chancellor George Osborne announced a new £115 million (US$163 million) package as part of his 2016 budget focused on addressing rough sleeping in the UK. Osborne, whose austerity policies have been slammed by human rights campaigners, economists and politicians statewide, said the situation was “unacceptable in our day and age.”
However, Shelter says history’s lessons are clear and robust social safety nets and secure, affordable homes are the only means of curbing homelessness.
“Over the past 50 years at Shelter we have seen first-hand that reducing homelessness is only possible when a government is truly committed to providing secure and affordable homes, and adequate support should the worst happen,” Robb said.
“But, tragically as we approach our 50th anniversary we are instead facing the catastrophic consequences of short-sighted welfare cuts and a severe housing shortage.”
— Shelter (@Shelter) March 23, 2016
Robb called on Britain’s Conservative government to intervene, stop “side-stepping the root causes” of Britain’s housing crisis and immediately prioritize building homes that those on low and modest incomes can afford to rent or buy.
The Department of Communities and Local Government agreed this is a crisis that needs to be dealt with.
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