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MORE HOMES KEY TO END RECORD HOMELESSNESS

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Tens of thousands of homeless people will continue to spend months in...
Tens of thousands of homeless people will continue to spend months in

often totally inappropriate emergency homes(9) Shelter warns today

unless more affordable housing is built. The homelessness and housing charity says that the situation will only get worse unless an extra 90,000(5) new affordable homes are delivered each year.

Government figures announced today show record numbers (84,800 - a 9 per

cent rise on the year 2001)(6) of homeless households living in

temporary accommodation. If this is to be tackled Shelter says that John

Prescott's Community Plan, due to be launched in January 2003, must

clearly target affordable homes at those that need them most.

Shelter also warmly welcomed the government's commitment to help people

who become homeless after fleeing domestic violence. The charity worked

with 3,194(7) people last year who had experienced domestic violence and

recognise how important it is to give them the support and assistance

they need to help them resettle and rebuild their lives. Nearly

two-fifths(8) of the families helped by its Homeless to Home service had

lost their original home because of domestic violence.

Ben Jackson, Shelter's director of external affairs, said: 'Unless we

build the homes we so desperately need thousands more people will endure

the misery of homelessness. Families and their children will continue to

suffer ill health, damaged education and blighted lives in damp, cold

and cramped homes.

'Supporting very vulnerable homeless people, such as those fleeing

domestic violence can help stop the cycle of homelessness. Every day,

Shelter sees families that have been harmed by what's happened to them.

They may feel hopeless and unable to cope when they come to Shelter -

many have been homeless many times or spent months in limbo in emergency

housing and need long-term support to help them settle down and rebuild

their lives.'

Notes

5. No Room to Play, Shelter 2002 Spending Review submission

6. Number of homeless households in temporary accommodation from ODPM

Statutory Homelessness Statistics 2nd Quarter 2002 released today

7. Households coming to Shelter for help reporting problems with

domestic violence April 2001 to March 2002

8. Firm Foundations (2002). Shelter's report into its Homeless to Home

service aimed at helping homeless families resettle after homelessness

9. Emergency homes means temporary accommodation provided by local

authorities for people they have a duty to under the homelessness

legislation until a permanent home is available

10. Last week (3 December 2002) the government announced plans to

consult on outlawing use of bed & breakfast for homeless families except

in emergencies and minimum standards for temporary accommodation

11. Regional numbers of households in temporary accommodation (TA)

REGION Sep 01 Sep 02 Percentage rise

North East 1550 2080 34

North West & Merseyside 2160 1690 -22

Yorkshire & Humberside 2080 2060 -1

East Midlands 2060 2380 16

West Midlands 1820 1590 -13

East England 5520 6510 18

London 44340 49850 12

South East 12850 12920 1

South West 5580 5740 3

England (total) 77960 84820 9

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