More than 500 people in Shropshire face being homeless this winter
There are now more than 500 homeless people in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, according to a new report.
Housing charity Shelter has described the scale of homelessness across the country as "unforgivable", saying action needs to be taken ahead of the winter months.
Shelter's analysis of the most recent data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows that an estimated 469 people in Shropshire are homeless.
The vast majority - 456 - are in temporary accommodation, which includes those in hostel beds, living in B&Bs or with their own arrangements such as staying temporarily with different friends. The remaining 13 were recorded as sleeping rough.
It means that one in every 676 people in Shropshire are homeless.
In Telford, the figure is significantly lower, with just 97 people estimated to be homeless and just 10 have been recorded as rough sleepers.
Across the West Midlands, one in 246 people are homeless – the second-highest rate of England's nine regions.
The number of homeless people in the region has risen by 12 per cent since 2017, reflecting the 4 per cent increase across Britain.
The chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, said: “It’s unforgivable that 320,000 people in Britain have been swept up by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home.
“These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of people right across the country.
“Due to the perfect storm of spiralling rents, welfare cuts and a total lack of social housing, record numbers of people are sleeping out on the streets or stuck in the cramped confines of a hostel room.
“We desperately need action now to change tomorrow for the hundreds of thousands whose lives will be blighted by homelessness this winter.”
The Secretary of State for Communities, James Brokenshire, said the government is determined to end rough sleeping and response to the causes of homelessness.
He added the government’s £9 billion Affordable Homes Programme was ensuring that local authorities had the support they needed to build more council homes.