More than 100 East Riding families faced homelessness in just three months

Housing charity Shelter has warned that councils are struggling to cope with the volume of people needing support
Housing charity Shelter has warned that councils are struggling to cope with the volume of people needing support

More than 100 the East Riding of Yorkshire families required council support for homelessness in the run up to last Christmas, new figures reveal.

Housing charity Shelter has warned that councils are struggling to cope with the volume of people needing support amid a national “housing emergency”.

Following the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2017, councils in England must provide support to eligible homeless households, as well as those at risk of becoming homeless in the next 56 days.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows there were 127 households due support after applying for help from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council between October and December, including 70 families with children. Of these, 87, or 69%, were at risk of homelessness, meaning the council had to work with them to prevent them losing their home.

The remaining 40 were already homeless, in which case the council has to help them secure accommodation for a period of at least six months.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said the figures painted a bleak picture of the housing landscape in England.

Ms Neate said a chronic lack of social homes and the housing benefit freeze were contributing to the crisis.

Four in 10 homeless or at risk households in the East Riding of Yorkshire lost their last secure home because their assured shorthold tenancy – the most common type of private rental contract – ended.

There were also two households made homeless because their social tenancy came to an end – 2% of the total – while one came from supported housing, which could include refuges or housing for elderly or disabled people.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Recent figures show encouraging signs that the Homelessness Reduction Act is making a real difference in providing vulnerable people with the support they need, and at an earlier stage.

“But we know there is more to do, which is why we’re investing £1.2bn to tackle homelessness, and empowering councils to build more council homes to ensure everyone has a safe and secure home to call their own.”