Charity Homeless Link is concerned that welfare reform could be driving an increase in homelessness - as new figures show an alarming rise in cases of people losing their homes.
The charity was responding to government statistics that show 12,860 people were accepted as homeless in 2012's second quarter - a 9% rise on the same period in 2011.
This situation is the most dire in London, where homelessness figures have shot up by 27%.
The number of people finding themselves homeless because they have had to leave privately rented accommodation is at its highest for 14 years.
According to Homeless Link's analysis of 2012's second quarter, of the 26,800 applications that were made for help, 52% were turned down. The charity also found that 64% of households accepted as homeless included dependent children.
Responding to the statistics, Rick Henderson Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said: "The recession and the high cost of living continues to fuel homelessness. We’re also concerned that welfare reform could be adding to the numbers, with landlords less willing to rent to those on housing benefit.
“Becoming homeless shouldn’t be inevitable if you lose your job, can’t afford your rent or fall into difficulty. We need urgent action to keep more people in their homes.
“The Government recently called on every council to provide a ‘gold standard’ when it comes to homelessness advice, help and support. This is a standard that should apply to everyone – including the many single adults who councils do not have a duty to house.
“We need local government to rise to this challenge, to prevent people finding themselves with nowhere to live and the damage this causes to individuals and society.
“However national government also needs to review the impact that welfare reform could be having.”