Urgent Concerns Raise Amidst Record Spending
Recent government data has revealed a troubling 6.8% surge in homelessness across England in the past year, with a significant number of individuals and families forced into temporary housing. The figures, released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), indicate a 10.5% increase in overall spending on homelessness since the fiscal year 2021/22, putting fresh strain on local councils already grappling with higher costs.
Between April 2022 and March of the current year, a staggering 298,430 households in England faced homelessness or were at risk of homelessness, including 104,460 families with children. The data further highlights that the number of households residing in temporary accommodations reached an all-time high of 104,510.
Of particular concern is the 27.4% increase in the number of people facing homelessness due to “no-fault” eviction notices, totaling 24,260 individuals. Over the same period, local authorities observed a 30.5% increase in the number of individuals assessed as sleeping rough.
Despite significant pledges and funding commitments by the Conservative government to tackle rough sleeping, these data raise questions about the effectiveness of these efforts. The crisis is particularly acute in London, where councils face a £500 million budget shortfall in their efforts to combat homelessness.
🚨GBNEWS report on D-Day veteran Alfred 98 yrs old battling cancer who was evicted from his rented bungalow & made homeless in his own country.
Council told him he will face a 6 -8 month wait to be rehoused. Yet if your illegal get accommodated. Disgustinghttps://t.co/19MxFSfjAk
— NATHAN (@mbga_uk) July 28, 2023
The DLUHC reported record-high spending by councils across England, with more than £2.4 billion spent in the 2022/23 fiscal year. Over £1.7 billion was allocated to temporary accommodations, with the North West and the North East regions being particularly affected. Manchester, in particular, grapples with one of the highest homelessness rates in England.
Notably, Liverpool experienced the most significant increase in homelessness, with costs surging by 341% in just one year. Warrington saw costs rise by 210%, while Darlington and Wolverhampton witnessed their costs double. The coastal town of Hastings in the southeast also faces a dire situation, with hundreds of households residing in temporary accommodation.
Many local councils are struggling to manage the overwhelming caseload associated with the homelessness crisis, and various charities, along with the shadow minister for homelessness, have called for increased housing benefits to address this urgent housing crisis.
These developments underscore the pressing need for a more robust approach to homelessness from all political parties. The Labour Party positions itself as a potential alternative government that may take a more resolute stance on this issue, emphasizing the urgency of addressing homelessness and providing sustainable solutions.