Councils spent £3.5bn on temporary housing in last five years

Councils in Britain have spent more than £3.5bn on temporary accommodation for homeless families in the last five years, data obtained by the BBC shows.

In that time the annual cost has risen 43%, with councils spending £851m on temporary housing in 2015 alone.

Homeless charity Crisis said the number of people in temporary accommodation was rising at an “alarming rate”.

The government said temporary housing “ensures people have a roof over their head”.

But the Local Government Association said the costs were “unsustainable”.

Temporary accommodation is provided to households that councils accept are homeless, but the criteria for who is eligible varies between nations.

This includes bed and breakfasts, hostels and private rented accommodation.

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