There has been a reported rise in the amount of homeless families taking up residence in emergency bed and breakfast accommodations, according to an article from the Guardian. The figure rose by 45% in England alone in the 12 months to the end of September, which is the highest recorded in 12 years, referring to statistics published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). A sum of 3000 households with children were in these types of accommodation from 30th September of this year. Of these, just under a third had been in that kind of accommodation for more than a month.
The statistic is the highest since the summer of 2003, and it highlights the plight that councils find themselves in as they battle to find appropriate lodgings for homeless families. The DCLG findings has pointed to a major reason for the loss of a settled home being the end of a private tenancy, which had become an increasingly frequent cause in the past 6 years as the number of tenants in private rented homes had risen. In 2009/10, 11% of households seeking help from councils had been living in a private rented home previously, but this number jumped to 31% between June and September of this year. Local councils use B&Bs to house homeless families as they cannot find suitable social or private rented housing to accommodate them. They often have to share these rooms with other tenants.
The DCLG reports that there are 68,560 households that are in emergency accommodation, and an astonishing 103, 430 households had children or expecting children. These types of households, as well as those with expectant mothers, are the most vulnerable, so they are among the high priority groups for councils considering homelessness applications. In more statistical reports, the DCLG recorded that between the 1st of July and the 30th of September of this year, local authorities received nearly 30,000 applications for assistance from households reported as homeless, a 2% increase on the same period in 2014. of this number, 50% were accepted, which was a 4% increase from the previous year.
Campbell Robb, the chief executive of the charity Shelter, mentioned in previous articles, stated: ”These figures are a heart-breaking reminder that thousands of families will wake up homeless this Christmas morning – many hidden away in a cramped and dingy B&B or hostel room, sometimes miles away from everyone and everything they know. With the double blow of cuts to welfare and a chronic lack pf affordable housing,” he goes on to say, ”many more families are facing a desperate battle to keep a roof over their heads.”
In this tough economic climate, it seems families will be faring the hardest, and as we enter into a new year, the situation for those who may be be homeless in future could get worse.