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Homelessness among English households rises 54%: Report

2 July 2016 12:49

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Homelessness among households in England has risen over 50 percent in the past 6 years, according to UK government figures.

According to figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), homelessness among English households has risen 54 percent since 2010.

This represents the sixth consecutive annual rise in homelessness in England, the report said.

The report reveals 57,750 households were accepted as homeless by their local council in the past year, up 6 percent from 54,430 from 2015.

Households becoming homeless in London increased 9 percent to 17,530 in the last year alone. In the rest of England, 38,570 households became homeless, an increase of 5 percent since last year.

Campbell Robb, the chief executive of Shelter – a charity that campaigns to end homelessness and bad housing in England and Scotland – called the statistics “shocking.”

“Sky high housing costs mean that every day at Shelter we hear from families struggling to keep their heads above water, knowing that just a small change in income could send them spiraling towards homelessness,” he said in a statement.

“We’re here to help people when the worst happens, but we can’t do this alone. Sadly, it is those already living on a financial knife-edge who suffer the most when the country hits uncertain times, so it’s vital the government makes sure families can get the support they need to keep a roof over their heads,” he added.

The UK housing crisis and huge wealth gap played a significant role in Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, said John Healey, former Shadow Secretary of State for Housing and Planning.

“The gap between haves and have-nots was the breeding ground for Brexit, and these new figures today show that the number of homeless households has risen by an astonishing  54 percent since 2010,” he told The Independent.

The UK has faced severe problems after the Brexit vote last week. The pound sterling has plunged to a 31-year low against the US dollar and stock markets have slipped.

On Monday, the American financial services company, Standard and Poor’s, downgraded Britain’s credit rating by two notches, from AAA to AA, a humiliating blow for the country and one that could cost its economy.

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