Friday, 14 June 2013

Homelessness set to become a crime

The number of homeless households in England has reached its highest level in five years, official figures show.

According to government statistics, the number of people declared homeless across England has increased by 6 percent over the past year.

There were 53,540 homelessness acceptances in the financial year 2012-13, compared with 50,290 in 2011-12.

The figures also indicated a 14 percent rise in the number of people living in temporary bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation in the last year.

Some 4,500 households were in B&Bs on 31 March this year, compared to 3,960 in 2012.

The housing and homelessness charity Shelter warned that the rising cost of housing and cuts to the housing benefit are having a real impact on British families struggling to make ends meet.

There is evidence that suggests that austerity measures imposed in response to the crisis of capitalism in other countries – such as Greece and the US – have harmed the physical and mental health of people.

In Stockport there has been a 42 percent rise in the number of people without homes in the last year alone; local shelters being so overwhelmed has meant some people have turned to living in local caves, as is the same in Nottingham.

One thing is for sure, and that’s things are set to get far worse for tens of thousands who will it increasingly looks, be made homeless as the bedroom tax starts to kick-in.

And as to pour more petrol onto an already burning fire of despair, homelessness could become a crime under the proposed new anti-social laws as outlined in the recent Queen’s speech, this includes new powers given councils the regressive rights to stop certain activities by the way of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs).  

As currently drafted, the PSPOs could be used by councils for actions including banning spitting, banning homeless or young people from parks and open spaces, banning begging or rough sleeping and the banning of smoking in outdoor public places. 
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