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Introduction ...

This Statistics Release presents information about households that applied as homeless to local authorities under the homeless persons legislation during the period January to March 2002. It also includes information about the assessments that local authorities made of applications during the quarter and the action taken in respect of cases that were finalised during the quarter.

This is the first time that information about households (as opposed to applications) has been published. It is also the first time that detailed information about the characteristics of households applying during the quarter, and details of the local authority assessments made and actions taken during the quarter, have been available so quickly (6 months after the end of the quarter, as opposed to 18 or more months, as in the past). A new electronic system for capturing homelessness statistics from councils, which was introduced in December 2001, has made this faster reporting, about households, possible. The system was designed and implemented following the homelessness task fsorce's recommendations for change in the statistics.

This Release also includes information on the numbers of applications made by households during the periods Oct-Dec 2001 and Jan-March 2002, by local authority area. Although the new system for gathering homelessness statistics allows analysis based on households (rather than applications), past trends have been monitored on the basis of applications. The information presented here brings the series on applications up to date as far as 2001-02.

This Release also presents information on households that were living in temporary accommodation on 31 December 2001 and on 31 March 2002, in each local authority area, having been placed there by the local authority under the homeless persons legislation. This information is broken down by type of accommodation, and is given separately for households with children. The actual numbers of children in the various types of temporary accommodation are also given.

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