According to figures released by the UK Department for Communities and Local Government, homelessness among vulnerable groups in England has risen by 75% since 2010. The number of homeless households containing someone who is classed as vulnerable because of their mental illness rose from 3,200 in 2010 to 5,470 in 2017. In the last 7 years, the number of families with dependent children has increased from 22,950 to 40,130 and the number of homeless households with a family member with a physical disability has increased from 2,480 to 4,370.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, reacted: “With homelessness soaring, it is no surprise that the number of vulnerable groups – including families with children – who are having to turn to their council for help is on the rise. As wages stagnate, rents continue to rise and welfare is cut, many people are struggling to keep a roof over their head. Eviction is now the number one cause of homelessness. Our services across the country are seeing an increase in the number of people with multiple and complex needs, and we think this may be because other services are failing to provide the help that people need. The solution to our housing crisis must be to urgently build more affordable homes and, in the short term, end the freeze on housing benefit that is increasingly pushing people over the precipice into homelessness.”

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