Almost 200 Calderdale families faced homelessness in just three months

Almost 200 Calderdale families faced homelessness in just three months
Almost 200 Calderdale families faced homelessness in just three months

Almost 200 Calderdale families required council support for homelessness in the run up to last Christmas, new figures reveal.

Housing charity Shelter has warned that councils are struggling to cope with the volume of people needing support amid a national "housing emergency".

Following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2017, councils in England must provide support to eligible homeless households, as well as those at risk of becoming homeless in the next 56 days.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows there were 196 households due support after applying for help from Calderdale Borough Council between October and December, including 68 families with children.

Of these, 145, or 74 per cent, were at risk of homelessness, meaning the council had to work with them to prevent them losing their home.

The remaining 51 were already homeless, in which case the council has to help them secure accommodation for a period of at least six months.

Across England, more than 61,000 households were owed a duty under the act over the three months to December – more than 20,000 of them families with children.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said the figures painted a bleak picture of the housing landscape in England.

"It’s little wonder that local councils are finding it difficult to cope with the sheer volume of people turning to them for help," she said.

"Beyond those sleeping rough on our streets, tens of thousands of homeless families are living in temporary accommodation, including emergency B&Bs and hostels.

"Our advisers see first-hand the unbearable anguish of parents who can’t tell their children when they’ll have a place to call home."

More than one in six homeless or at risk households in Calderdale lost their last secure home because their assured shorthold tenancy – the most common type of private rental contract – ended.

There were also 18 households made homeless because their social tenancy came to an end – 9% of the total – while four came from supported housing, which could include refuges or housing for elderly or disabled people.

Of the social tenants, 11 lost their homes because they were behind on their rent.