Six times more newly homeless families than new social houses, England data shows

Newly homeless families now outnumber newly built social homes by six to one, according to official figures for England released on Thursday that expose the widening gap between increasing need and the availability of cheap homes.

Only 8,386 new social homes were built in England in 2022-23, while in the same period 52,800 households were accepted by councils as requiring help because they were homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. The analysis was conducted by the National Housing Federation.

The gap is forcing councils to spend £1.7bn a year renting temporary and often overcrowded accommodation for more than 100,000 households, more than at any time in the past 25 years. Councils have warned the bill is forcing many town halls towards bankruptcy.

There has also been a 10% annual increase in the number of households threatened with homelessness because landlords have served them with a no-fault eviction, which the government had pledged to ban. And there has been a 19% annual rise in the number of households to which councils accept they owe a main homelessness duty.

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