Hundreds of thousands of pounds was spent by an Oxfordshire council on temporary housing for the homeless in the year to March.

Figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show £338,000 was deployed by Cherwell District Council on temporary housing, of which £206,000 was covered by the council.

This comes as more than 100 district councils across England have urged the government to take action to prevent a homelessness crisis.

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Chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, Polly Neate, said: "We simply can’t keep throwing money at grim B&Bs and hostels instead of focusing on helping families into a home.

"With a general election on the horizon, no one can afford to continue to ignore a crisis of this magnitude."

In Cherwell, £149,000 was spent on private accommodation – the most of any type of temporary accommodation in the area.

A group of council leaders sent a letter to chancellor Jeremy Hunt on Monday urging him to raise local housing allowances and provide £300m in discretionary housing payments by March 2025.

Leader of Cherwell District Council, Barry Wood, was among those who signed the letter.

Councillor Hannah Dalton, the District Councils’ Network housing spokeswoman, said: "The fact that 119 council leaders from all political groups have joined up to demand urgent action from the Chancellor on homelessness demonstrates that we are in an emergency situation, right across the country.

"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."

Oxford Mail: Tents are a lifeline rather than a lifestyle choice for people who sleep on the streets, a former homeless man has said (Yui Mok/PA)Across England, £1.7 billion was spent on temporary accommodation in 2022-23.

Figures from the end of March show more than 104,000 households were living in temporary accommodation and nearly two-thirds of these households were families with children.

A spokesman for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: "Local authorities have seen an increase in Core Spending Power of up to £5.1 billion or 9.4 per cent in cash terms on 2022/23, with almost £60 billion available for local government in England.

"We are committed to reducing the need for temporary accommodation by preventing homelessness before it occurs in the first place, which is why we are providing councils with £1 billion through the Homelessness Prevention Grant over three years.

"We are also delivering a fairer private rented sector for tenants and landlords through the Renters Reform Bill which includes abolishing Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions."