“National disgrace”: At least 449 homeless people died last year

From HuffPost UK: At least 449 people died while being homeless across the UK in the last year, a shocking investigation has revealed.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, in partnership with Channel 4 News, has found a former soldier, a physicist and a travelling musician were among those who lost their lives.

Among the tragic findings, one man’s body showed signs of prolonged starvation. In one week alone, 14 people died.

There is no official figure for the number of people who die on the streets, though a series of reports suggest homelessness is rising.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said: “Rising levels of homelessness are a national disgrace, but it is utterly unforgivable that so many homeless people are dying unnoticed and unaccounted for.

“To prevent more people from having to experience the trauma of homelessness, the government must ensure housing benefit is enough to cover the cost of rents, and urgently ramp up its efforts to build many more social homes.”

[Read full article on HuffPost UK website…]

The number of homeless pensioners is the highest it’s been for a decade

From The Big Issue: The number of pensioners being accepted as homeless has skyrocketed by 40 per cent in five years, according to new figures.

A total of 2,520 people aged 60 and over were classed as ‘without a safe and secure home last year’ – the highest number for over a decade.

The government figures for January to March of this year also uncovered a 54 per cent rise in single parent families forced to turn to temporary accommodation.

There has been a three per cent increase on the number of families waiting for a permanent place to stay with 79,880 altogether in hostels and B&Bs. This figure has risen by 56 per cent since the onset of austerity measures in 2010.

[Read full article on The Big Issue website…]

The Guardian view on homelessness – do ministers care?

Editorial comment in the Guardian: “The National Audit Office report into homelessness lays bare the legacy of human waste caused by the callous indifference and intellectual vacuity of Compassionate Conservatism, a Tory creed – promoted by David Cameron – where responsibility shifted from the state to individuals, families and communities. Read more

Labour MP John Healey: Homelessness has doubled since 2010 – the Tories are to blame

John Healey MP writes in the Independent: “It should shame us all that in the 21st-century, in one of the richest countries in the world, the number of people sleeping on our streets has doubled in just five years. Over 100,000 children are now sleeping in temporary guesthouses and hostels – accommodation that’s often cramped, unsuitable and short-term.”

[Read full column on Independent website…]

Homelessness at record levels as numbers rise at ‘appalling rate’ since Tories came to power

From Daily Mirror: Rough sleeping in England has hit record levels, doubling under the Tories, as a homelessness charity say numbers are rising at an “appalling rate”. The number of rough sleepers has risen by 133% since 2010, and by 51% in the last two years, according to official figures released this morning.

[Read article on Daily Mirror website…]