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‘Light touch’ approach fails to help the soaring number left homeless

SOARING homelessness is not being tackled by the government’s ‘light touch’ approach, a watchdog said.

In the past six years, there has been a 60 per cent rise of households in temporary accommodation, among them 120,540 children, the National Audit Office found. In one count, rough sleepers had more than doubled.

Welfare reforms and housing benefit caps are ‘likely to have contributed’ to the rise. Auditor General Sir Amyas Morse said the government had ‘not evaluated the impact of its reforms’. He said: ‘It is difficult to understand why [it] persisted with its light touch approach in the face of such a visibly growing problem.’

A government spokesman said: ‘Our welfare reforms restore fairness to the system with a strong safety net in place. There’s more to do, including delivering on our commitment to eliminate rough sleeping entirely.’