Scandal of the homeless

ACCORDING to a report by the housing charity Shelter, homelessness in this country is rising by 14 per cent.

Local authorities are housing homeless families in bed and breakfast hostels because of a chronic shortage of suitable private temporary accommodation. This is a discredited practice that was almost eliminated by the last Labour government.

There is a serious divide between the housing haves and have nots and they won’t be helped by government ministers wanting to sell off more of Britain’s remaining council house stock. None of these homes will be replaced with new council properties and nothing will be done to assist people on waiting lists.

On top of this, the government has recommended that councils increase rents by up to eight per cent. All this on top of rising unemployment, cuts to housing benefit, cuts to homelessness services, increases in fuel bills and the biggest squeeze on family incomes in a generation.

This government’s recklessness with the economy means that homelessness will rise with more and more young people sleeping rough.

It is a scandal.

JOHN APPLEYARD

Firthcliffe Parade

LIVERSEDGE