Families’ fight to keep roof over their heads

Homeless family
Homeless family

Thousands of families in the East Midlands have teetered on the brink of homelessness and hundreds more have lost the battle to keep a roof over their heads this year.

Councils in the region have been inundated with more than 17,000 requests for help from those at risk of losing their homes during the past 12 months.

The shock findings from leading charity Shelter, which are based on government statistics, show that the number of requests has risen by 17% in the last five years.

In the last year, more than 3,400 households in the region were made officially homeless.

The figures come as no surprise to housing and homelessness charity Shelter, whose advisers have been inundated with calls for help.

In the last year, the number of calls to Shelter’s free helpline from the East Midlands reached almost 22,000.

One in five of the calls they were able to answer came from people who faced losing their home within a month.

The charity is calling on the public for urgent support, as its advisers brace themselves for even more calls this Christmas season. With many councils feeling the pressure of England’s affordable housing shortage, having a Shelter adviser can make the difference between families losing their home and keeping it.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “It’s truly devastating to hear that so many people – including families with children – are teetering on the brink of homelessness.

“It’s heart-breaking to imagine one child waking up homeless and in unstable temporary accommodation on Christmas morning, yet we know that over 100,000 children across the country are facing exactly that fate.

“Sadly, the combination of our affordable housing shortage and cuts to welfare means that more and more parents are finding themselves struggling to keep a stable roof over their children’s heads.”