FEWER households with children were threatened with homelessness in Test Valley last year, new figures show.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show 97 households with children were owed a prevention duty in Test Valley in 2021-22 – down from 119 the year before.

This means the household has been threatened with homelessness and is eligible for local council support.

A further 51 households were owed a relief duty in the year to March, meaning they are already homeless and Test Valley council must take reasonable steps to help the applicant to secure accommodation for at least six months.

Domestic abuse pushed an increasing number of people towards homelessness, with some 11,330 of the 56,340 households with children owed a relief duty across the country caused by domestic abuse.

READ MORE: Town Council declares cost-of-living emergency in Andover

This was a rise of 18 per cent from the year before and 36% from 2019-20, before the coronavirus pandemic.

In Test Valley, 10 domestic abuse cases led to prevention duties, while 21 relief duties were owed.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC), Cllr Phil North, said: “Combatting homelessness is one of our top priorities, and our housing team works closely with residents to prevent homelessness wherever possible.

"In recent years, the authority has invested tens of thousands of pounds in local homelessness services and has outlined its commitment to ensuring that no one who lives in the borough who faces sleeping rough will leave the council offices without first receiving an offer of emergency accommodation. And we work to tackle homelessness long-term, by focusing on people’s strengths and aspirations and working across partnerships to try to address the underlying issues that have led to the person losing their home."

Cllr North also explained that TVBC use a range of initiatives including rent deposits and discretionary funing streams, to enable people to stay in their homes or secure a new one. Also, with many residents facing a tough winter due to the rising cost of living the council have set up an online Cost of Living Support Hub.

Last week a £50,000 pot of funding was also approved to assist local organisations who are providing cost of living support, so they are able to increase their capacity to deal with the increasing demand on their services.

SEE ALSO: Test Valley Borough Council's £50k scheme to help those in need

Anyone who is concerned about their housing situation and believes they may become threatened with homelessness in the near future, can contact TVBC’s housing options team on 01264 368000 or housingoptions@testvalley.gov.uk