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HOMELESS HOUSEHOLDS LIVING IN TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION AT ALL TIME HIGH

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Government figures published today (see ...
Government figures published today (see LGCnet) show the number of homeless households in England having to endure the misery of living in temporary accommodation has passed 66,000 for the first time say Shelter.

The number of households living in temporary accommodation is up 11 per cent on the same quarter last year to an all time high of 66,030. (1) The figures also show that the number of homeless households living in bed and breakfast hostels is now 8,380.

Shelter warns that whilst house prices begin to level out, soaring rents show no signs of falling leading to a shortage of affordable housing and homelessness for thousands of low-incomes families. The situation is particularly acute in London where rents have risen 62

per cent since 1993 to a current average of£285 per week for a two bedroom flat. (2) House prices in the capital now average£193,000. (3)

'These figures are extremely worrying and show just how critical the housing shortage is,' said Chris Holmes, director of Shelter.

'Households on low incomes are the innocent victims of the housing boom. As rents continue to soar thousands of households are becoming homeless. Our own experience shows that temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfast hostels are totally unsuitable for nurturing stable family life.

'Massive investment in decent affordable housing is needed now. Shelter's own research reveals that 100,000 affordable homes per year need to be built between 2000 and 2011 to tackle the current housing crisis.' (4)

NOTES

1. DETR Statutory Homelessness Statistics: Second Quarter 2000

2. London Research Centre figures for average rents in the private rented sector in Greater London (3rd quarter 1999)

3. HM Land Registry, August 2000

4. Building for the Future, Shelter May 2000

5. Shelter's ISDN line is 020 7251 2790

6. Shelter is a campaigning organisation that last year worked with over 176,000 homeless or badly housed people and runs Shelterline, the UK's free, 24 hour, national housing advice line on 0808 808 4444.

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