Experts blame Government’s inability to ensure housing benefits kept up with with soaring rents

The number of households forced to live in emergency accommodation is at its highest level since the peak of the financial crisis, official figures show, as experts said that Government welfare cuts are driving England towards a new homelessness crisis.

Between July and September this year, 68,560 families and other households were housed in temporary accommodation, including thousands put up in B&Bs and hostels – the highest numbers since the same period in 2008.

In the same three month period, councils in England accepted 14,670 new applications for ‘statutory homelessness’ – more than at any time since 2008.

Experts said the Government’s failure to ensure housing benefits keep up with soaring private rental prices was the main factor behind the increase.

Housing benefits, which have been fixed at below inflation one per cent annual increases since 2013, are now set to be frozen for four years – a factor which the Chartered Institute of Housing said could create more homeless families.

full story at The Independent