Politics

‘Deluge’ of families facing homelessness amid Boris Johnson’s Levelling Up plan


Charity chiefs are warning more than 220,000 households have slipped into homelessness since the Covid pandemic began and warn Boris Johnson’s Levelling Up plan will not slow the tide

Private evictions rose 42% over the Covid pandemic period

Boris Johnson’s Levelling Up plan will not help the “deluge” of families facing homelessness due to the rising cost of living, charity chiefs warn.

They say the flagship policy, blasted for being empty on ideas and funding, is meaningless without investment in new homes.

More than 222,360 households – equivalent to a city the size of Liverpool – have slipped into homelessness since the start of the pandemic, says charity Shelter.

And its campaigns director Osama Bhutta warned that the crisis is about to get worse as inflation and fuel hikes take effect at the same time as both furlough and the £20 Universal Credit end – with one family being made homeless every four minutes.

He said: “You cannot level up the country without safe and secure homes.

“The Government has got to set out how it will deliver on its promises, with a plan for significant investment in social house-building if it truly is to level up.







More than 222,360 households – equivalent to a city the size of Liverpool – have slipped into homelessness since the start of the pandemic, says charity Shelter
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Image:

Photofusion/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

“You can’t level up the country without more homes people can afford.

“A further deluge of homelessness lies ahead.”

Domestic abuse and private evictions were the biggest causes of people losing their homes, according to Shelter analysis of official figures out last week.

It found that the number of people fleeing domestic abuse has gone up 27% since 2019.

Private evictions rose 42% over the same period, with a spike after the temporary ban due to Covid ended last May.

The charity StepChange estimates 460,000 more renters have gone into arrears – double the number since the start of the pandemic.







Michael Gove is the Minister for Levelling Up
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Image:

Getty)

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The Tory plan, seen as part of the PM’s bid to regain control of the political agenda, was unveiled by Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove.

He announced 12 “missions” to help poor areas – but Labour leader Keir Starmer branded them “repackaged, rehashed, recycled” moves backed by no new money.

Shadow Levelling Up Minister Lisa Nandy called the proposals “12 admissions of failure”.

And Shadow Homelessness Minister Sarah Owen said: “The Government talks about wanting to increase homeownership as part of levelling up but on its watch, homelessness is increasing, not homeownership.

“People are suffering due to successive Tory governments’ failure to tackle causes of homelessness.”

A spokesman for the DULHC said: “The Levelling Up plan makes we are taking action on two fronts, building more housing in England, including more genuinely affordable social housing.

“Second, we will launch a new drive on housing quality to make sure homes are fit for the 21st century. We will ensure home ownership is within the reach of many more people.”

“Since 2010 waiting lists have reduced by more than 550,000 and more than 574,000 affordable homes, including 154,600 for social rent, have been built.”

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