One In every 200 people In UK are homeless, according to Shelter

More than 300,000 people in Britain – equivalent to one in every 200 – are officially recorded as homeless or living in inadequate homes, according to figures released by the charity Shelter.

Using official government data and freedom of information returns from local authorities, it estimates that 307,000 people are sleeping rough, or accommodated in temporary housing, bed and breakfast rooms, or hostels – an increase of 13,000 over the past year.
The shelter said the figures were an underestimate as they did not include people trapped in so-called “hidden homelessness”, who have nowhere to live but are not recorded as needing housing assistance and end up “sofa surfing”.
London, where one in every 59 people is homeless, remains Britain’s homelessness centre. Of the top 50 local authority homelessness “hotspots”, 18 were in Greater London, with Newham, where one in 27 residents are homeless, worst hit.

However, while London’s homeless rates have remained largely stable over the past year, the figures show the problem is becoming worse in leafier commuter areas bordering the capital, such as Broxbourne, Luton, and Chelmsford.

Big regional cities have also seen substantial year-on-year increases in the rate of homelessness. In Manchester, one in 154 people are homeless (compared with one in 266 in 2016); in Birmingham, one in 88 are homeless (119); in Bristol, one in 170 are affected (199).
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s shocking to think that today, more than 300,000 people in Britain are waking up homeless. Some will have spent the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy hostel room with their children. And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for.

“On a daily basis, we speak to hundreds of people and families who are desperately trying to escape the devastating trap of homelessness. A trap that is tightening thanks to decades of failure to build enough affordable homes and the impact of welfare cuts.”

Although public perceptions of homelessness are dominated by rough sleeping, Shelter points out that the single leading cause of recorded homelessness is the ending of a private tenancy, accounting for three in every 10 cases, and often triggered by a combination of soaring rents and housing benefit cuts.

Shelter’s figures show that as of April this year 281,000 people were living in temporary accommodation in Britain. A further 21,300 were in single homeless hostels or social services housing, while 4,500 were rough sleeping.


Less than 5% of problem drinkers amount to one third of alcohol consumption In UK

Four per cent of UK drinkers who have the most harmful alcohol consumption habits account for a third of all the alcohol drunk in the country, public health chiefs have revealed.

The “staggering” statistic was revealed as part of the evidence to MPs on the potential impact of a 50p minimum price per unit of alcohol in England.

Doctors said the change would benefit the two million people in this group by making very strong alcohol less affordable.

Director of alcohol, drugs and tobacco at Public Health England (PHE), Rosanna O’Connor said minimum price police would “exquisitely target” the strongest, cheapest alcohol – typically high strength ciders – with negligible impact on moderate drinkers.

“A staggeringly small group of people, about four per cent of the population, are drinking just under a third of the alcohol consumed in the country, about two million people.


Big rise In number of middle-aged people suffering strokes, research suggests

The average age of people suffering a stroke for the first time has fallen over the past 10 years, with more than a third happening in middle-age, the latest figures show.

While the majority – 58% – of strokes still happen in older age, 38% occur between the ages of 40 and 69, according to data from Public Health England (PHE).

This is up from 33% in 2007.
The average age for men having a stroke fell from 71 to 68 between 2007 and 2016, while for women it fell from 75 to 73.

Experts have urged people to be aware of the signs of a stroke, as the research shows the condition does not just affect the elderly.

Professor Julia Verne, director of PHE, said: “Stroke is still one of the leading causes of death in England. While it’s often associated with older people, the latest research shows that people are having strokes at a younger age.
“Everyone needs to be aware of the signs.”

One in six people in England will suffer from a stroke in their lifetime, PHE said, and it is estimated that about 30% of those people will go on to experience another one.

Some 57,000 people in England had their first stroke in 2016, the data showed.

A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, and is the third most common cause of premature death in the UK. There are about 32,000 stroke-related deaths in England each year.

Professor Verne added: “Calling 999 as soon as you see even one of the symptoms develop – in the face, arms and speech – is essential. Speedy treatment will help prevent deaths and disability.”

People aged between 40 and 74 have been urged to get an NHS health check to identify if they are at risk of a stroke.

Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, said: “We have said time and again that stroke devastates lives in an instant.