Nearly a quarter of a million people are experiencing acute forms of homelessness across Britain, with rough sleeping set to rise by 76 per cent in the next decade unless the Government takes long-term action to tackle the problem, a charity has warned today.
In what critics have condemned as a “national scandal”, a total 159,000 households are sleeping rough or living in unsuitable temporary accommodation and experiencing other forms of acute homelessness, marking a rise of nearly a third since 2011, according to a new analysis conducted for Crisis.
Of these, 57,000 are “family” households – consisting of 82,000 adults and 50,000 children – indicating that a growing number of families are being forced out of their housing and forced to live in unsuitable conditions.
The report, carried out by Heriot-Watt University, reveals that 9,100 people were sleeping rough in 2016, while 68,300 households were sofa surfing, 19,300 were living in unsuitable temporary accommodation and 37,200 were living in hostels.
A further 26,000 households were living in other circumstances, with 8,900 sleeping in tents, cars or on public transport, more than 12,000 living in squats and 5,000 in women’s refuges or winter night shelters.
It comes after an analysis by The Independent of official statistics revealed the number of families being declared homeless had increased by more a third since the Conservatives took power in 2010.
Nearly 60,000 families were declared homeless by local authorities in England between April 2016 and March 2017 – a rise of 34 per cent on the same period in 2010-11, the analysis found.
Thousands of families have subsequently been living in B&Bs, which often sees them crammed into one room and sharing limited bathroom and cooking facilities with strangers for more than six weeks, which is illegal under the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) Order 2003.
An even larger number of single working age…