In Brief

Homelessness to rise 76 per cent by 2027, warns charity

Crisis tells government to end rough sleeping or face stark consequences

Homelessness has been branded a "national scandal" before, but today's report by the homeless charity Crisis provides a stark warning about the consequences of failing to address the problem.

The report predicts that the core homeless population (now at 236,000 people) will rise by more than a quarter in the next decade, with rough sleeping in the UK set to increase by 76 per cent if current policies continue.

Theresa May has vowed to "end homelessness in all its forms", but this vision must now become a reality, warns Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes.

"This year Crisis marks its 50th anniversary, but that's little cause for celebration," he says. We still exist because homelessness still exists and today's report makes it only too clear that unless we take action as a society, the problem is only going to get worse with every year that passes. That means more people sleeping on our streets, in doorways or bus shelters, on the sofas of friends or family, or getting by in hostels and B&Bs. In order to tackle this, we need to first understand the scale of the problem."

Political opponents say the government has failed to back up its rhetoric, reports The Guardian.

In response to the report, shadow housing secretary John Healey said: "this is a direct result of decisions made by Conservative ministers: a steep drop in investment for affordable homes, crude cuts to housing benefit, reduced funding for homelessness services and a refusal to help private renters."

The solution, say housing experts, lies in a major government-backed programme for house building. Both the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Local Government Association are calling for more affordable housing to be built.

In February, the Government was criticised for its "feeble" proposals to fix the housing crisis, given there was "nothing in the [housing] white paper to help either councils or housing associations start building at scale", says the New Statesman.

Following the Crisis report, a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government conceded "there's more to do and ministers will set out plans shortly."

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