Shortages of affordable housing are forcing local authorities to leave people homeless, according to a recent report form a leading homelessness charity.

New research by Crisis found that while more people are getting access to housing support, a lack of housing supply was combining with rising rents to reduce councils’ options.

Commenting on the report, Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes said: “It’s deeply distressing that, across England, councils are being forced to leave the people they are trying to help on the streets or drifting from sofa to sofa; all because they cannot find somewhere safe and affordable for them to live.”

The report also found that the only support councils were able to offer in some cases was information on how to rent privately, with several of those surveyed saying this meant simply a list of potential landlords to contact.

Crisis added that the government needed to prioritise spending on housing benefit so that it covered the cheapest third of rents, while also committing to build 90,000 social homes each year for the next 15 years.

Sparkes commented: “It’s vital that the government gets to grips with the root causes pushing people into homelessness in the first place, this means ensuring more social homes are built across the country and that housing benefit is restored to truly cover the cost of rent.”