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Homeless issue needs to be tackled
The dramatic increase in the number of people who are classed as homeless in the Bradford district is obviously a cause for concern.
The figure almost doubled in 2011/12, rising from 113 to 215 families or individuals who need are deemed homeless, and need to be housed by the local authority.
There are a number of contributing factors, including the recession and its impact.
But there must be some very specific issues affecting Bradford itself, because other parts of Yorkshire generally saw much smaller increases.
Only rural Hambleton had a larger increase – and presumably its 129.79 per cent is based on much smaller actual numbers. The average across the rest of the region was much lower, only around 25 per cent.
It is an issue that needs closer examination, because while the national figure for expenditure on homelessness has fallen, in Bradford it increased from £2.15m to £3.45m.
The schemes the Council highlights designed to tackle the issue seem very laudable, and it is obviously geared up to respond to helping people into accommodation quickly.
But it seems the root cause of the problem has been tackled elsewhere, at least according to the figures released today, while here the number of homeless has increased.
Whether it is partly due to the growing demand for housing, or because of the particular social or economic issues local to the Bradford area, or other factors, it is a problem that needs to be looked at very closely.