The Catholic Housing Aid Society (CHAS) has reacted with concern to latest government figures which show a record increase in the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation. According to the statistics, more than 75,000 households are now in temporary homes - an increase of 16 per cent on the same quarter last year. 10,830 are now in bed and breakfasts - 24 per cent more than last year. Dr Joanna Disson from CHAS said: "These figures underline the importance of the Homes Bill which must be re-introduced as a matter of urgency."(The Bill was shelved because of the election). She said: "We sincerely hope the Bill will be included in the Queen's Speech and will be given sufficient parliamentary time to complete its legislative stages before the summer recess." CHAS has pledged to work with politicians over the next few months to ensure that housing appears on the political agenda again. A spokeswoman said: "We believe that political involvement is an important part of Christian discipleship. We were disappointed that housing was absent from almost all debate during the recent General Election. High on the agenda were issues to do with education and health. She said: "Christians were also encouraged to think about supporting family life and pro life issues. CHAS believes that the right to housing is at the core of all these concerns. Bad housing can adversely affect the education and health of families. Bad housing also has a negative impact on family life and on the ability of people to live life to the full. Reflecting its commitment to Gospel values, CHAS will continue to work for a world where all have a home they can afford, which is safe, warm and secure." For more information about CHAS, visit their website through our Links pages.
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