Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homelessness Could Hit Middle Classes, Crisis Charity Claims

Homelessness Could Hit Middle Classes, Crisis Charity Claims

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PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Cuts to welfare support could lead to middle class homelessness, a housing charity has claimed.

Crisis is publishing a report warning of an increase in homelessness numbers which says the problem may not be confined to the poorest.

According to the Guardian, the charity highlighted figures showing councils have reported 44,160 people accepted as homeless and placed in social housing, a 10% increase on the previous year.

Crisis has urged the Government to reverse cuts to housing benefit and invest in new housing urgently.

The Guardian quoted a study co-authored by academics at the University of York and Heriot-Watt University for Crisis raising fears about big cuts in state support.

"Any significant reduction of the welfare safety net in the UK as a result of coalition reforms may, of course, bring the scenario of middle class homelessness that much closer," the report states.

It also claims the Government's affordable house building programme will generate just 50,000 new homes by 2015.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "Ministers have always made clear their commitment to ensure the most vulnerable in society are protected, which is why the Government is investing £400 million in preventing homelessness, and has announced plans to extend the London project, No Second Night Out, across the country so no one spends more than one night sleeping rough.

"But the most important thing the Government can do to help struggling households to stay in their homes is to keep interest rates low, and to do that we must cut the deficit.

"That is why we are introducing reforms that will cut the housing benefit bill."

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