THE latest report from Shelter reveals 7,190 people in the South West are homeless and living in temporary accommodation during the pandemic.

Figures show 2,890 more people are homeless and trapped in temporary accommodation in the region compared to five years ago.

But Shelter argues the economic chaos caused by Covid-19 risks "turbo-charging" the crisis.

The charity’s analysis of Government data shows the number of people in temporary accommodation in the South West jumped by 610 (nine per cent) in the first three months after the pandemic struck.

However, the number of people experiencing homelessness is undoubtedly higher, says the charity, as many people will be "undocumented by local councils because they are sleeping rough or sofa-surfing".

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Over 7,000 people are homeless and stuck in temporary accommodation in the South West. This should shame us all. With this deadly virus on the loose, 2020 has taught us the value of a safe home like never before.

"But too many are going without, because of the chronic lack of social homes.

"Many people will spend Christmas in grim, dangerous places, cut off from loved ones and faced with a daily struggle to eat or keep clean. As the country continues to reel from the financial shockwaves caused by the pandemic, our services will do all they can to support those battling homelessness."