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Homelessness spike driven by single adults needing help, new official figures reveal

The government’s annual report on statutory homelessness, published today, revealed that the number of families and individuals owed a ‘relief duty’ after approaching a council rose to 139,800 in the year to the end of March 2020, up from 121,630 the previous year.

The relief duty is owed to people that are already homeless when they contact a local authority needing help.

The figures showed that 71% of the increase was due to a rise in single adults presenting as homeless.

Meanwhile, the number of households in temporary accommodation rose 9.4% in the year to 93,000, which was also attributed to individuals needing help.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) report said the jump in single adults becoming homeless could be due to “improved awareness of, and access to, services for single people, as well as additional government funding” for rough sleepers.

It also said the rise in temporary accommodation may be linked to the response by councils to the coronavirus pandemic.

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