More than 100 council leaders have signed a letter to the Chancellor calling for him to “avert the homelessness crisis”.

The cross-party letter, signed by 119 council leaders, comes after an emergency meeting between authorities.

Twenty four Conservative councils have signed the letter which describes the “unprecedented pressure on temporary accommodation services” which is leading councils to bankruptcy.

The letter asks the government to “give councils the long-term funding, flexibility and certainty needed to increase the supply of social housing”.

Councillor Stephen Holt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “119 council leaders, representing areas across England and of all political persuasions are asking Jeremy Hunt to recognise the gravity of this situation and provide local government with the appropriate funding and response.

“I have no doubt that the Chancellor and the Prime Minister understand that this is threatening the very future of services that support and maintain hundreds of thousands of vulnerable residents.   They cannot allow the safety net we provide to fail, they must act now.

“I am also grateful that so many authorities have responded so quickly and positively to our joint letter. We are all in agreement - this is a national crisis.”

The emergency summit last week was set up by Eastbourne Borough Council and the District Councils’ Network.


Hastings Borough Council could be bankrupt by March due to pressures faced because of the increase in people needing temporary accommodation.

Councillor Hannah Dalton, the District Councils’ Network housing spokeswoman, said: “Councils simply do not have the money to cope with this surge of demand for temporary accommodation and without action from Jeremy Hunt they will have no option but to cut services. Such is the scale of the problem that some councils will find themselves effectively bankrupt.

“Unless action is taken in the Autumn Statement, society’s most vulnerable people will continue to be hit hardest – the lifeline that their councils offer them will collapse and there will be a knock-on impact on other public services, including the NHS.

"Funding councils’ work properly will prevent homelessness now, easing the need for public services like the NHS to spend huge amounts dealing with the consequences of homelessness in future.”