Falling homeless figures in region
HOMELESSNESS in the East of England has plummeted more than 20% in the past 12 months, new figures show.A total of 1,800 new families were classified as homeless in the region between April and June - 25% lower than the same period last year.
By Danielle Nuttall
HOMELESSNESS in the East of England has plummeted more than 20% in the past 12 months, new figures show.
A total of 1,800 new families were classified as homeless in the region between April and June - 25% lower than the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the total number of households in temporary accommodation is down 21% to 6,330.
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The data was published yesterday by the Department for Communities and Local Government, which is reporting the lowest level of new homeless cases since 1983.
Families or individuals in emergency/temporary accommodation will typically be living in self-contained bedsits leased in the private sector, local authority housing let on a temporary basis, bed and breakfast hotels or hostels.
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Colchester has the highest number of households living in temporary accommodation in Suffolk and north Essex at 286, followed by Tendring at 268 and Ipswich at 234.
Ipswich also has the highest number of households living in bed and breakfast accommodation in those areas at 56, coming before Chelmsford at 18 and Tendring at 14.
At the other end of the table, Mid Suffolk has the lowest number of families in temporary accommodation in Suffolk and north Essex at four, followed by St Edmundsbury at five and Babergh at 23.
Adam Sampson, chief executive of homeless charity Shelter, welcomed the drop in homelessness but urged the Government to commit to building more social rented homes.
“Any drop in new cases of homelessness is to be welcomed. However, provided this is brought about by genuine work to prevent people from losing their homes in the first place, rather than preventing them from registering to get the help they need,” he said.
“Despite the drop in new cases, the scale of the housing crisis in the East of England remains virtually unchanged, with 6,630 homeless households currently trapped in temporary accommodation - more than double the number in 1997.
“The Government must commit to building more social rented homes in the next Comprehensive Spending Review if it is serious about tackling homelessness and offering these people the chance of a brighter future.”
Housing minister Yvette Cooper said great progress had been made in tackling the problem, with numbers falling to a 23-year low.
“This record reduction shows the success of prevention schemes funded by £300 million worth of Government investment,” she said.
However, Ms Cooper admitted there were still too many people who had no permanent place to live or were in “overcrowded” conditions.