HOMELESSNESS in Bassetlaw has risen by 167 per cent in the last two years, according to shock new figures published by the National Housing Federation.
The statistics, outlined in the Home Truths: East Midlands 2012 report, show that 48 households were accepted as homeless in 2011/12 - compared to just 18 between 2009/10.
The report also found that only 9,930 homes were built in the East Midlands in 2011/12 - less than half the homes needed for the 22,000 new households in the region.
Worksop’s HOPE for Homeless manager Sandy Smith said the new figures were ‘shocking’ and there were a number of factors behind the increased number of households accepted as homeless.
“One is the introduction of the under 35 rule for housing benefit purposes, whereby tenants under the age of 35 are now subject to the Local Housing Allowance of £54 a week in Bassetlaw as opposed to the one-bedroom flat they would have been entitled to before January 2012 at £70 a week,” she said.
“This led to people building up arrears and having to leave their properties at the end of the shorthold tenancy period.”
She added: “Increased successful applications could be down to people being more aware of their rights and approaching Bassetlaw Council with the relevant information to support their application.”
“In my opinion, it is a good thing the council are accepting more people as homeless but the figures don’t show us how many people have actually applied.”
“And of course, we need to bear in mind the number of people or households not accepted as homeless - that figure is the real telling figure.”
The National Housing Federation report said the shortfall of homes in the region is pushing up house prices and private rents - making it increasingly difficult for people to afford to rent their home, let alone buy one.
The federation has launched a new campaign Yes To Homes to give local people the chance to show councillors and politicans that new homes matter.
Visit wwwyestohomes.co.uk to register your views on the housing situation in Bassetlaw.