More than half of all homeless families in Basildon are spending up to two years in temporary accommodation, it has been revealed.

Members of Basildon Council’s housing committee will meet next week to discuss a strategy aimed at reducing homelessness and rough sleeping across the borough.

The latest draft of the strategy details how severe the issue is in Basildon, with 53 per cent of homeless households being left in temporary accommodation for between one and two years, while nationally this is the case for just 14 per cent.

Among these families 31 per cent have at least one adult in employment and have been left homeless due to housing costs rising significantly faster than wages.

The strategy notes “a single parent with one child who works 30 hours a week in a national living wage job would have to pay over 43 per cent of their income to rent the average two bedroom flat”.

Last week the council’s economic committee heard how wages in Basildon have fallen by 4 per cent due to the high number of low skilled jobs, meanwhile across the country wages have risen by 9 per cent.

Furthermore, Basildon has 612 children living in temporary accommodation which is the eighth highest number for local authorities outside of London.

To take on the problem, the strategy has laid out key challenges that need to be addressed. This includes the broken housing market, which has left the council unable to build enough social homes to replace those lost as a result of the Government’s Right to Buy scheme. In the private sector, the council has also found that around half of landlords surveyed are “unwilling or unable to let to tenants receiving housing benefit”.

To tackle this, the council aims to increase the number of affordable homes, review the housing allocation scheme and provide support those in temporary accommodation to move into homes that are private rent or social housing.

The strategy is also looking to end rough sleeping. As part of this, the council has been successful in securing funding that will go towards expanding emergency hostel accommodation, supporting former rough sleepers to reintegrate in the community and helping voluntary groups to expand emergency winter night shelters.

If committee members back the draft strategy on Tuesday it will move to a consultation stage where it will be further revised before getting final approval from councillors.