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Missing meals to pay rent

This article is over 22 years, 6 months old
Issue 1679

Charity research slams government

Missing meals to pay rent

HOMELESSNESS IN London is getting worse under New Labour according to recent figures from campaign group Shelter. The report-called The Dark Side of the Boom-shows how thousands of Londoners are facing housing misery as house prices soar.

The report found:

  • Nearly 60 percent of Housing Benefit claimants in inner London faced a shortfall of 20 or more between their benefit and their rent. The only way they can make up the difference is by cutting back on food.
  • Over 400 homeless people sleep on London’s streets on any given night and 94,000 people are officially recognised as homeless.
  • The number of people living in bed and breakfast accommodation has soared by almost 120 percent over the last two years.
  • At the end of June 1999 over 31,000 homeless households were placed in temporary accomodation. This is an incredible increase of 30 percent over two years.
  • London has the highest public sector rents in Britain. The report found that the average weekly private rent is 278 for a two bedroom flat.
  • Over 300,000 households lack basic amenities, have inadequate heating or are in a serious state of disrepair.

Shelter predicts that conditions will worsen if the government continues on its present course and refuses to invest in affordable housing.

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