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BARKER REVIEW: GOVERNMENT URGED TO ACT ON FINDINGS AND END HOUSING MISERY OF THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES

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Shelter today urged the government to close the ever-widening gap ...
Shelter today urged the government to close the ever-widening gap

between the number of homeless people and levels of affordable housing

built each year.

The Treasury-sponsored Barker review of housing supply, published today

(see LGCnet) has highlighted the downward spiral of affordable house-

building in the UK over the last decade. It estimates that there is

currently a shortfall of 39,000 homes being built every year in England,

31,000 of which it states should be affordable.

The report comes on the same day that the ODPM has announced that the

number of households made homeless in England this year will pass

200,000 for the first time under the Labour government(1) - the number

of homeless households living in temporary accommodation has also

reached a new high of 93,930.

Shelter, the UK's leading housing charity, says the Barker report places

an obligation on government to boost funding for affordable housing in

next summer's Spending Review. The charity, which gave evidence to the

Barker review detailing the experiences of families living in appalling

accommodation, has long campaigned for an end to substandard housing.

Shelter director, Adam Sampson, said: 'The Barker report places an

obligation on government to boost spending in order to provide

affordable homes for those in most desperate need. Not only do we need

to increase the number of homes in the broader sense but there also

needs to be urgent reforms to the planning system - put frankly, it's

nothing short of a national scandal that so many people are trapped in

temporary homes and homes that are not fit for living.'

NOTES

1. The total for the last four quarters (December 2002 to September

2003) 212,760

2. Shelter is a national campaigning charity that last year worked with

over 100,000 homeless or badly housed people through its network of over

50 advice centres and innovative projects. It runs Shelterline,

supported by Bradford & Bingley, the UK's free, 24 hour, national

housing advice line on 0808 800 4444, and Shelternet, a free, online,

housing advice website at www.shelternet.org.uk

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