New figures on homelessness, published today by the Department for Communities and Local Government, show that there has been a 14 per cent rise in households accepted as homeless in 2011 compared with 2010 and a 18 per cent rise on the same quarter last year, the fourth rise in as many quarters.
Jack Dromey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, responding to the figures, said:
“The remorseless rise in homelessness shows how out of touch this Government is with the human impact of its economic and housing policies. It is an absolute tragedy that in 2012 so many families do not have a home they can call their own.
“The Government’s economic policies are failing, leading to rising unemployment, increases in fuel bills and the biggest squeeze on family incomes in a generation. Combined with the Government’s reckless changes to benefits, it was inevitable that homelessness would rise and that it will continue to rise.
“With homelessness rising by 14 per cent and an increase in rough sleeping of 23 per cent in 2011, it is time that the Government assessed the full impact of its failing policies on homelessness, and I am today writing to the Housing Minister Grant Shapps to demand that he undertakes an assessment of the Government’s policies on homelessness.
“But to help the thousands of families without homes and the 1.8million families on housing waiting lists, the Government could take some immediate action to get the economy moving by levying a tax on bankers bonuses to build 25,000 more affordable homes, putting unemployed building workers back to work and creating a 100,000 jobs for young people.”