Labour fury at huge rise in vulnerable groups made homeless since 2010

Posted On: 
23rd December 2016

The number of vulnerable people being declared homeless has soared since the Conservatives came to power, official figures have shown.

The number of families to whom councils owe a duty to house has risen dramatically
Credit: 
PA Images

Compared with 2010, the proportion of families accepted by councils as homeless this year where one member has a mental illness has gone up by more than half (53%), from 3460 to 5280.

Those made homeless where one member has a physical disability has risen by just under half (49%), from 2840 to 4227, the figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government showed.

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Meanwhile, households with dependent children made homeless this year is up 62% on the 2010 figure, while those with elderly family members made homeless is up 20%.

Overall, the number of households made homeless in 2016 stood at 59,773, compared with 42,320 in 2010 – a rise of 41%.

Labour, which uncovered the figures, blasted the Government for “six years of failure” on housing and said the figures fly in the face of the Tory manifesto promise to “care for the weakest and most vulnerable”.

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey said: “Since 2010 homelessness has risen dramatically on all fronts with almost 60,000 households becoming homeless last year.

“These figures show that some vulnerable groups have been particularly hard hit.

“Ministers urgently need to get a grip, back Labour's plans to end rough sleeping and build thousands more affordable homes.”

KIDS HOMELESS AT CHRISTMAS

According to homeless charity Shelter more than 120,000 youngsters face homelessness over the festive season this December.

Other recent figures showed almost 19,000 households which became homeless in the last year were evicted by private landlords - the highest number since records began.

Shelter has said welfare cuts alongside expensive and unstable renting arrangements meant too many people were “losing the battle to stay in their home”.

“Now is the time for the new government to seize the opportunity to tackle the root cause of this crisis by building homes that people on lower incomes can actually afford to live in,” the charity added.

“In the meantime, it’s essential that councils receive proper funding to deal with the huge volume of people coming to them for help.”

GOVERNMENT PLAN

The Government recently backed a bill which will force local authorities to help people at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days.

In October Ministers also unveiled a £40m programme of new measures to tackle homelessness.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “This Government is committed to supporting the most vulnerable in our society and ensuring our country works for everyone.

“That’s why we’re investing over £550 million to tackle and reduce homelessness, on top of supporting Bob Blackman’s Homelessness Reduction Bill to prevent more people from becoming homeless in the first place.”