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SURGE IN NEW HOMELESS PREDICTED (Refuge / Emergency Accommodation)

by administrator @, Friday, September 02, 2011, 09:42

The UK may have to contend with a surge in homelessness in the coming years, as a result of welfare cuts and the difficult financial climate.

That is according to research from Crisis, seen by the Guardian, which indicates that some middle class householders could be at risk of homelessness in the present economic environment.

With many people already struggling to keep up with the demands of their mortgages and rent payments, the loss of the safety net which is traditionally offered by welfare benefits may fuel homelessness, the report suggests.

Over the summer period of 2011, the country's local authorities have already reported 44,160 people as being homeless and provided with social housing as a result. Compared to last year's statistics, this marks a rise of 10%.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of the charity, said the present situation offers some cause for concern.

She said: "Homelessness in both its visible and hidden forms is already rising and as the economic downturn causes further increases in unemployment and pressure on households' finances, homelessness is likely to continue to rise.

"This research is clear that it is the welfare and housing systems in the UK that traditionally have broken the link between unemployment and poverty and homelessness, yet these are now being radically dismantled by the Coalition Government. The government must listen and change course before this flow of homeless people becomes a flood."

Temporary accommodation was used to house 189,000 people over the course of 2010, with venues like bed and breakfasts and small-scale hotels helping to stop them from becoming completely homeless. Researchers at the University of York and Heriot-Watt University collaborated with Crisis on the new report.


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