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The number of homeless families living in temporary accomodation such as bed-and-breakfast hotels is expected to re...
The number of homeless families living in temporary accomodation such as bed-and-breakfast hotels is expected to reach an all-time high, reported BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Figures releasedby the government today show there are around 66,000 families waiting to be housed by local authorities in England alone.

This is the largest number since homelessness was first recorded in 1977.

A booming property market is squeezing low-income families out of the market, particularly in London and the south east.

The housing charity Shelter said there were not enough council and housing association property. It says 24,000 new subsidised homes need to be built each year to make up the shortfall. But the government says it has increased investment in public housing by over£8bn since 1998, and ministers blame much of the increase in homelessness on asylum-seekers, who make up one-sixth of today's total.

Fred Manson, head of urban renewal at Labour-controlled Southwark LBC, said he would like to live in Mayfair, but he couldn't afford to live there and so he didn't.

He added: 'People balance what they really would like with what is possible and what's available. The trouble is when the state is paying, that obligation to accept the second one of your choices isn't as strong as it would be if you were doing it yourself'.

Mr Manson wants a new contract between those who want subsidised housing and those who provide it. 'I think they have to show they are going to be making these contributions to society: they have a job; that, after a period of support, perhaps they're are going to move off from support, and the house is going to be the thing that is going to assist them to do that. But in the end, with all scarce resources, if people are not using it well, someone has to say, I don't think you

are really taking advantage of this house in this location'.'

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