Soaring numbers of desperate pensioners being made homeless as charities slam high rents and benefits cuts

Charities have said brutal benefits cuts are behind a growing number of desperate elderly people being made homeless.11709489_985449581488924_1385951511306534685_n

Department of Local Government and Communities figures analysed by Mirror Online show 1,300 elderly people were classed as homeless or in ‘priority need’ of emergency accommodation last year.

The figure is 10 per cent up on two years ago, when 1,180 people over-65 needed emergency help from local councils to find shelter.

Charities have said Government cuts to benefits and homeless services and rising private rents are to blame.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive for homeless charity Crisis, said: “The reasons for this rise are clear – more and more households are struggling to pay their rent in an increasingly insecure rental market, while cuts to housing benefit and services that prevent and solve homelessness have left the safety net in tatters.

“Homelessness is a harrowing experience for anyone, but for older people, some of whom will have disabilities or physical health issues, it can be particularly distressing.

“For anyone finding themselves in financial difficulty, the prospects are decidedly bleak.

“In theory older people should be able to get help from their council, but there is always a danger they will slip through the gaps. It would be far better if they never had to face homelessness in the first place.”

Of th 1,300 classed as homeless last year – 420 were over 75.

According to Crisis figures there has been a 26 per cent increase in homelessness since 2009/10 – the year the Conservatives came to power.

Local councils must provide people with emergency accommodation once it has established they are not ‘intentionally homeless’.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said the government had delivered more than 14,000 affordable homes for elderly people since coming into power.

He said: “We have made over £500million available since 2010, to support the most vulnerable in society and to guard people against the threat of homelessness.

“And we have already provided 14,000 homes for older people with more to come.”

From: The Mirror

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