Almost 200 Scarborough families required council support for homelessness in the run up to last Christmas, new figures reveal.
Housing charity Shelter has warned that councils are struggling to cope with the volume of people needing support amid a national “housing emergency”.
Following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2017, councils in England must provide support to eligible homeless households, as well as those at risk of becoming homeless in the next 56 days.
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows there were 187 households due support after applying for help from Scarborough Borough Council between October and December, including 44 families with children.
Of these, 107, or 57%, were at risk of homelessness, meaning the council had to work with them to prevent them losing their home.
The remaining 80 were already homeless, in which case the council has to help them secure accommodation for a period of at least six months.
Of the households owed support by Scarborough Borough Council:
○ 112 contained a person with at least one high need – 38 people had an illness or physical disability, 52 had a mental health condition, four a learning disability, and one was elderly
○ 28 were headed by a single mother, and seven by a single father.
○ 22 were at risk of homelessness because of so-called no-fault evictions, after their landlord issued them with a soon-to-be banned Section 21 notice.
○ 20 lost their last home because of domestic abuse.
○ 60, or 32%, were headed by a person aged 25-34 – the most common age group
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Recent figures show encouraging signs that the Homelessness Reduction Act is making a real difference in providing vulnerable people with the support they need, and at an earlier stage.
“But we know there is more to do, which is why we’re investing £1.2bn to tackle homelessness, and empowering councils to build more council homes to ensure everyone has a safe and secure home to call their own.”
Article by data reporter Harriet Clugston