These figures expose the worst pain inflicted by our housing crisis. We have failed as a society when so many people are forced to sleep rough. But they are not alone, the scourge of homelessness extends far beyond our streets. Hidden away in emergency B&B’s, temporary bedsits and on friend’s sofas are hundreds of thousands of other homeless people, including families with children.
Most of these people are homeless simply because they couldn’t afford to live anywhere, a situation made worse by welfare cuts. While the intentions of the Homelessness Reduction Act are good, it cannot fix this crisis. To do that, the government must act to build a new generation of genuinely affordable homes to rent, as well as ensuring housing benefit is fit for purpose in the short-term.