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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Homelessness numbers 'a national outrage' says CIH chief executive


Responding to the latest homelessness statistics for England, released today by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Terrie Alafat CBE said: "It is quite simply a national outrage that so many people are homeless in England in 2017. We must act now.

"Today’s figures show the number of households accepted as homeless has jumped by more than 60 per cent since the low of 2009. That’s partly because of pressures on the housing market but also some of the welfare changes that have come into force in recent years. Our research with the University of Sheffield has shown that the vast majority of councils and housing associations believe government welfare policy is hitting their efforts to tackle homelessness. And the real picture is likely to be much worse – for everyone who goes to their council for help there are likely to be many more ‘hidden homeless’ people sofa surfing and sleeping on public transport for example.

"There has been a frankly unacceptable rise in the number of households in temporary accommodation, which has soared by a staggering 65 per cent since the low of December 2010. That figure includes more than 2,500 families with children trapped in bed and breakfast accommodation, which is often very poor quality and highly unsuitable.

"History tells us that we can reduce or even eliminate homelessness but it does require a co-ordinated approach – that means government investment, funding for affordable housing and a concerted effort across the housing and homelessness sectors."

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