DISABLED people are being made homeless in their thousands due to welfare cuts and a housing crisis spiralling out of control, official figures revealed yesterday.
According to the government’s own statistics, the number of people with disabilities becoming homeless has risen by 39 per cent since the Tories took power in 2010.
And across Britain, the number of households officially accepted as homeless was even more “worrying,” with over 17,000 more families left with nowhere to live over the last five years.
Shadow housing minister John Healey said it was another blow to the credibility of David Cameron’s claim to lead a “compassionate” Conservative government following chaos over last week’s Budget.
“No one-nation government would accept rapidly rising homelessness and still stick with the policies causing the problem,” he said.
“The Chancellor has backed down on some new disability benefit cuts but these figures expose the harsh impact on disabled people of the cuts he’s already made.”
He added that the scale of homelessness in Britain “shamed us all.”
“The homeless figures hide personal stories of hurt and hopelessness. Thousands of people whose ordinary lives have fallen apart from illness, debt, family break-up, addiction or redundancy,” he said.
“This spiralling scale of homelessness shames us all when Britain is one of the richest countries in the world.”
Private tenancy evictions were still the biggest cause of homelessness in the country, with three times more people falling victim of their landlords’ whims since 2010.
The problem has been made worse by “the government’s failure to control housing costs and crude cuts to housing support over the last six years,” said Mr Healey.
The number of families being given emergency accommodation in hostels and B&Bs had also grown by 14 per cent over the last year and a whopping 103 per cent in five years.
Homelessness charity Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “As the number of homeless people continues to grow, it’s clear that the modest proposals on rough-sleeping in the Budget are simply inadequate given the scale of this problem, and will not reach the thousands of homeless families hidden away in cramped B&Bs and dingy hostel rooms.
“Over the past 50 years at Shelter we have seen first-hand that reducing homelessness is only possible when a government is truly committed to providing secure and affordable homes, and adequate support should the worst happen.
“But, tragically as we approach our 50th anniversary, we are instead facing the catastrophic consequences of short-sighted welfare cuts and a severe housing shortage.
“If we want to break the cycle of homelessness for good, this government has to stop side-stepping the root causes, and urgently prioritise building homes that people on low and ordinary incomes can actually afford to rent long-term or buy.”