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One in 25 people homeless in England's worst hit areas

HOMELESS: A person sleeps rough in Westminster (Photo credit: PA Archive/PA Image)

HOMELESS CHARITY Shelter have revealed that as many as one in 25 people are classed as homeless in the worst-affected areas of England.

The new study shows more than 268,000 people across England are homeless, although the number is a "conservative estimate", with many more expected to be going unrecorded.

It said the leading cause was the loss of a private tenancy, with three in 10 cases coming as a result.

The government said it was "determined to tackle all forms of homelessness" and Shelter has launched an urgent appeal to raise money for front-line services.

Responding to today’s report from Shelter which saw Tower Hamlets ranked 9th in the worst 20 boroughs in England, Local London Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai AM, said:

“Recently the National Audit Office warned that government welfare policies are directly contributing to the homelessness crisis. These appalling figures show that the Government has wilfully turned its back on those who’ve had the misfortune to find themselves homeless.

“With Tower Hamlets needing 3,511 new homes a year to meet local need – and London in desperate need of more genuinely affordable homes - the Government cannot miss the opportunity at this year’s budget to hand the Mayor the funding to make this happen.

“Right now we’ve got a Prime Minister who has prioritised pumping £10 billion into Help to Buy, inflating house prices in the process, rather than committing the funding to build hundreds of thousands of much needed social houses. The need to pave the way for longer tenancies doesn’t even appear to be on the Government’s radar and they chose capping benefits over capping rent increases.

“The Mayor has pledged £9 million a year to tackle rough sleeping, but this must be matched by determined action from the Government to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable housing and abandon their punitive welfare cuts and caps.

“We know so much about the causes of homelessness, but if we don’t start applying the solutions this picture in places like Tower Hamlets is only going to become even more bleak.”

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