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Number of Bradford homeless doubles in 3 years
The number of Bradford households finding themselves homeless has almost doubled in the past three years – the second highest rise across Yorkshire and Humber, according to a new report.
A report by data experts SSentif looking at “homelessness” shows variations across the country and within the region.
The number of homeless households in England has risen by 13.88 per cent in the past year, and by a quarter in the past three years, the new figures show.
Some 50,290 families and individuals were classed as homeless and in need of emergency accommodation in 2011/12, compared with 44,160 in 2010/11 and 40,020 in 2009/10.
Across Bradford there was a 90.27 per cent rise from 113 to 215, second to Hambleton at 129.79 per cent. But other areas across the region saw smaller increases with only 8.23 in Wakefield and an average rise across Yorkshire and Humber of a quarter. Kirklees saw a 17.19 per cent reduction in families being deemed homeless.
“Homeless” is defined as in priority need of housing and accepted as homeless by the local authority. A family would not have intentionally become homeless and can include families with dependent children, pregnant women and adults who are assessed as vulnerable. It does not refer to rough sleepers.
Families can be placed in bed and breakfasts, housing maintained by the local authority, housing associations or private landlords.
Judy Aldred, managing director of SSentif, said: “While these figures are perhaps not surprising given the state of the economy, some of the results for specific councils are quite shocking.”
The report showed spending on tackling homelessness rose in Bradford from £2.15 million in 2009/10 to £3.45m the following year, whereas nationally it fell from £213.7m to £199.8m.
Labour blamed the double dip recession and a fall in housebuilding for the increase but the Department for Communities and Local Government said the figures were a “narrow and misleading snapshot”.
A spokesman added: “The bigger picture is that homelessness is actually lower than for 28 of the last 30 years – and is half the average rate seen under the previous Government.”
A spokesman for Bradford Council and social housing group Incommunities said: “Bradford, in common with national trends, is seeing a rise in the numbers of households accepted under the homelessness statutory frameworks.
“This is largely due to the current economic climate which is affecting employment and the retention of accommodation.
“Bradford offers a comprehensive range of services through Open Moves.”