Helen Barnard, Deputy Director of Policy & Partnerships at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:
“In a society that believes in looking out for each other, it’s just not right that people are sleeping rough, or trapped in poor quality, insecure temporary accommodation.
“The problem is that the underlying factors which pull people into homelessness aren’t being addressed - people are stuck in expensive private rented properties because there aren’t enough social homes, and housing benefit has stopped being an anchor to help people cope with high housing costs.
"Re-setting Local Housing Allowance rates to cover the bottom third of local rents would give people on low incomes the lifeline they urgently need when they’re being threatened with homelessness by rising rents. Government must also fix problems with Universal Credit so that our benefits system provides an anchor for people facing hardship, rather than pushing them to the brink and making them destitute by design. To turn the tide in the longer term we also need significant investment to increase the supply of truly affordable social housing."