320,000 people homeless in Britain

Housing charity Shelter has said that there has been a 13,000 increase in the number of people recorded as homeless in Britain from last year.

This year, the analysis shows that 320,000 people were recorded as homeless, an equivalent to 36 new people becoming homeless every day. London has the highest rate of homelessness, but it is growing fastest in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, and north-west England.

With the winter weather worsening, the report highlights how the real level of homelessness is notoriously difficult to measure, as only individuals in contact with local authorities or in hostels are included in the official figures. The 320,000 figure accounts for those living in temporary accommodation, sleeping rough and the number of hostel places taken up, reducing them to compensate for potential double-counting.

Since Shelter first carried out their analysis in 2016, an extra 25,000 people have become homeless.

Polly Neate, chief executive of the charity, said: "These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of people right across the country. Due to the perfect storm of spiralling rents, welfare cuts and a total lack of social housing, record numbers of people are sleeping out on the streets or stuck in the cramped confines of a hostel room. We desperately need action now to change tomorrow for the hundreds of thousands whose lives will be blighted by homelessness this winter."

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