Hundreds of families in Harrow are without a home, with many forced to live in emergency accommodation, the latest statistics have revealed.

Figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government released in December last year showed that there were 604 homeless families in the borough.

Harrow Council and MPs representing the region have promised to tackle this issue, which homelessness charities believe is worsening.

Shelter ambassador George Clarke said: “I was devastated to discover that there are 604 homeless families in Harrow.

“As a father and someone who’s passionate about the impact that a safe, stable and decent home can have, it’s upsetting to hear that so many children are living in temporary accommodation.

“Unable to keep up with high housing costs and a shrinking supply of affordable homes, people’s lives are being turned upside down.

“In Harrow, the number of families forced to live in places such as hostels and emergency B&B’s is alarmingly 74% higher than five years ago. And no one should be left without a place to call home.”

Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, has a longstanding relationship with campaigning to end homelessness and was instrumental in pushing through a Bill which seeks to confront the issue.

He explained how the Government is taking the crisis seriously, with millions of pounds worth of funding set aside for it.

“Homelessness is an extremely complex issue and one that the Government has put at the heart of its housing agenda,” he said.

“The Government recently announced it is increasing funding for local authorities to meet new responsibilities as my Homelessness Reduction Act becomes law, taking the total amount provided to fund administrative costs to £82million for the first 2 years of operation.

“This demonstrates that it is serious about tackling this issue and is putting the work in to help prevent people from experiencing homelessness. Prevention is better than cure.”

And Harrow Council has reiterated its commitment towards affordable housing, noting that, in 2017, it opened the first council houses in the borough in a generation.

It also explained how it has had “huge success” in encouraging private developers to increase the proportion of affordable homes when they build in Harrow.