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Number of families living in B&Bs at 10-year high

The number of homeless families living in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation is at its highest in nearly ten years, Government figures have revealed.

Some 2090 homeless families across England have been placed in B&Bs after losing their homes, an 8% rise on the same period last year, and the highest since September 2003.

Overall homeless figures also rose by more than 5% in the last year. This includes 8790 families with children – the equivalent of one family losing their home every 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, a Shelter poll found that six in every ten working families paying mortgage or rent are struggling with their payments. Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “These figures are a wake-up call. Ordinary families are falling through the net and risk losing everything.”

Shelter is warning that more families will need help at the same time as the government are making cuts to the housing safety net, including restrictions on housing benefit and support for homeowners facing repossession.

Robb said: “People may be talking about green shoots, but every day our advisers speak to people who are terrified of what will happen to them because they don’t know how they will pay their rent or mortgage after a sudden drop in income.

“We are asking the Government to urgently build up the support available to families who face losing their homes, and to protect the safety net that gives families who fall on hard times the advice and support they need to rebuild their lives.”

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