ALMOST two dozen households in Winchester were identified as homeless last summer despite being in work, figures reveal.

Homeless charity Crisis said it is “unacceptable” that there are thousands of people in paid work but without a home across England during the pandemic, and called for long-term investment in social housing.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows 76 households were entitled to help from Winchester City Council between July and September – 24 of which were assessed as homeless and 52 at risk of becoming so.

Of these, 13 had at least one person working full-time and nine part-time.

There were also two households where the main applicant was seeking work.

Between July and September 2018, the last time these figures were published for this period, there were 84 households in need of help – 38 of which were working.

Across England, almost a quarter (15,590) of households assessed as homeless had full-time or part-time jobs between July and September last year.

Crisis said the situation could have been even worse without the uplift in Universal Credit and the furlough scheme, but that people will continue to struggle when restrictions are eased.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “It’s unacceptable that thousands of people in England cannot afford a place to live, despite being in work.

“We are calling on the Westminster Government to provide emergency grants and loans to renters who have been forced into arrears by the pandemic and extend the benefit cap grace period until the end of the pandemic.

“But we must not lose sight of the fact that homelessness amongst workers has existed long before Covid-19 and to end it once and for all, we need long-term investment in affordable housing.”