Number of Homeless Families ‘Up 60% Since 2010/11’
September 14, 2017
The number of families across the UK who do not have their own permanent homes has increased by as much as 60 per cent since 2010/11.
That’s according to the National Audit Office (NAO), which has been tracking the number of people who find themselves living in insecure or temporary accommodation.
In addition to a very considerable rise in the number of families living without homes, the audit office has also reported a 134 per cent rise in the number of rough sleepers since autumn 2010.
According to the NAO, which is the UK’s official public spending watchdog, the government has been taking a “light touch approach” to tackling the issue of homelessness since the Conservatives first came into office in Westminster in 2010.
The current government’s policies around housing issues “contrasts with the more interventionist approach that it has taken during previous periods of high homelessness,” according to the NAO.
The auditing body has also made clear its view that the current British government has “not evaluated the impact of its welfare reforms on homelessness, or the impact of mitigations that it has put in place”.
The NAO’s report says that it would like to see the government and its various departments make better use of the money it allocates towards tackling homelessness throughout the country.
“Homelessness in all its forms has significantly increased in recent years, driven by several factors,” said Amyas Morse, head of the NAO.
“It is difficult to understand why the Department [for Communities and Local Government] persisted with its light touch approach in the face of such a visibly growing problem. Its recent performance in reducing homelessness therefore cannot be considered value for money.”
Last month the charity group Shelter reported that its Scottish advisers received more enquiries than ever before in relation to housing problems between April 2016 and March 2017.
Across the country, housing problems and homelessness have been disproportionately affecting young people and those in rented accommodation, according to Shelter Scotland.
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