Single people are losing out in the fiercely competitive housing market, according to the recently published annual report of CHAR (the Campaign for Single Homeless People). CHAR says that unless local housing authorities take action to meet the long-neglected need for single people, the number of single people who are homeless, which is already large, will increase to unmanageable proportions.
The Department of the Environment says that it will "take CHAR's views into consideration". Although local authorities are at present required to "assist" all homeless people they are only required to actually help families. pregnant mothers. those with dependants under the age of 16. and the disabled.
' Single homeless people fall outside of the 1977 Homeless Persons (Housing)" Act, and CHAR says that no one seems to be tiling to have them included.
The Government's new Housing Bill, due to be presented to Parliament in the autumn holds little practical hope, its main thrust being directed towards those already in some sort of accommodation.
It seems the plight of the single : homeless will be left to the initiative of groups such as CHAR and CHAS (Catholic Housing Aid Society) to provide practical help and to lobby MPs to introduce private members' Bills into Parliament.
CHAR believes that by 1985 there will be 5 million homeless in Britain. yet, despite this, Anne CHAR's housing officer worker said: "At present the increasing demand from single people for a council home is not fully recognised, let alone met."
Many places, she said, were prepared to think the single homeless neither aspired to a home nor were capable of living anywhere other than in a hostel.
Bob Kahn. director of CHAS praised the work of CHAR as one of the most effective voluntary organisations in the country. He said: "Ultimately. the only effective solution is to build more council hesues suitable for single people, but there also will have to be radical changes in the current allocation policy which distinguishes against the single homeless.