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Number of households living in temporary accommodation in Tower Hamlets up by 19%

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 July 2018

There has been an increase in the number of families living in temporary accommodation in the borough. Pic: PA

There has been an increase in the number of families living in temporary accommodation in the borough. Pic: PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation in Tower Hamlets has risen by almost a fifth in the last five years.

According to newly-released numbers from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, there were 2,201 households in temporary accommodation in Tower Hamlets at the end of March this year - a 19per cent increase on the number in 2013.

The figures also show that 46 of the homeless households who had been identified as a priority case had not been found any accommodation.

Of the households in temporary accommodation in Tower Hamlets in March, the largest number, 985, were placed in private leased homes.

Of the rest, 456 were in local authority or housing association stock and 628 were in accommodation classed under ‘other’, including private landlords.

In the 12 months to March 2018, 437 households in Tower Hamlets were classified as homeless and a priority need. It means the council have a responsibility to find suitable accommodation for them - though councils will often help non-priority cases as well.

Newham had an increase of 86pc – one of the highest in London.

The chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis, Jon Sparkes, said: “Every day we see first-hand the effects of long stays in these types of accommodation - people can become isolated, with little access to vital support services, in poor conditions with nowhere to wash clothes or cook.

“No one deserves to live like this. When people do lose their homes, we need to make sure they are helped quickly into safe and secure accommodation. This means affordable houses and flats in ordinary communities.”

Priority cases include families with children, households where someone is pregnant and people aged 16 or 17. Councils can also class certain people as a priority if they are vulnerable, including victims of domestic abuse, people with mental health issues and those who have spent time in care, prison or the armed forces.

Tower Hamlets Council has been contacted for a comment.

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