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Ministers accused of abandoning thousands in need of social housing

Charity Shelter revealed that 33,000 working families are living in temporary accommodation in England.

Ministers have been accused of “abandoning thousands of people who need social housing” after charity Shelter revealed 33,000 working families are living in temporary accommodation in England.

The charity’s analysis suggested 55% of families living in temporary housing were working in 2017 — up 73% on 2013.

The charity blamed a mix of expensive private rents, a housing benefit freeze and a chronic lack of social housing.

The SNP’s housing spokesman, Alison Thewliss, blasted Housing Secretary James Brokenshire over the figures — telling him that “under this Government work no longer pays”.

Mr Brokenshire responded, telling MPs that the Government is committed to ensuring everyone has “a safe and decent place to live”, adding that more than £1.2 billion has been made available to support those left homeless and £9 billion has been pumped into social and affordable housing.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey hit out at the explanation, saying: “This is a Government that’s had more than eight years to do the job and what the Government’s doing is not working.

“Home-ownership rose under Labour and has now hit a 30-year low under the Conservatives. You can’t just stoke prices with tax cuts and home-buyer loans; we need to build more low- cost homes to make home-ownership more affordable.”

Labour MP Sarah Jones (Croydon Central) said: “Thousands of people who desperately need social housing are being abandoned as this Government, which entirely pulls out of social housing.”

Mr Brokenshire hit out at Labour’s record and said he “entirely rejected the characterisation” of the Government’s record.

He added: “We are dealing with what has been a broken housing market, something that has existed over many, many years on that lack of investment.

“That is why this Government is committed to investing £44 billion into the home-building agenda in the coming years, something that is about transforming life chances.”

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