Kirklees has higher rates of homelessness than anywhere in West Yorkshire, figures suggest.
The local authority has revealed it accepts more people as having nowhere to live than its near neighbours, but officials have said it is because they have more relaxed eligibility criteria than other councils.
And they have said Kirklees has comparatively low numbers of rough sleepers to the rest of the country because they help homeless people before they hit the streets.
Along with people sleeping on the streets, homelessness includes people who are “sofa surfing”, staying with friends or in temporary accommodation.
The official number of rough sleepers during 2017 in Kirklees was just eight – up three from five the year before.
The levels peaked at 11 in 2011 and dropped to only four in 2014.
A briefing paper on homelessness and rough sleeping says during 2017 Kirklees “homelessness acceptances” per 1,000 households was higher than Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale and also the England average.
Kirklees peaked at the start of last year with almost 0.8 people per 1,000 being declared homeless.
In Calderdale the figure was just 0.2 while the national average was 0.6.
The report for councillors says officials from Leeds and Bradford had compared with Kirklees' policy and dubbed the borough’s policy as “generous”.
“This is a positive for our customers as it means better outcomes for more households,” the report comments.
“In comparison to some other local authorities we assist more single people.
“Others often apply very strict vulnerability tests on single people.”
The report suggest benefits changes to universal credit were causing problems for some people.
The unpopular benefit system has been reported to be delaying people’s cash, stopping them from paying their rent, resulting in more homelessness.
The council report says it is “too early to say” for sure but adds that “sustained pressure on family finances” was leading to “violent and non-violent family breakdowns” – putting people on the streets as a result.
The report adds: “Continued changes in welfare reforms are impacting on families and their resilience to cope.
“We are also seeing an increase in the number of people with mental health problems.”
For Kirklees Council to deem someone homeless they must tick a number of boxes including being at risk of having no home within 28 days, being local and not deliberately making themselves homeless.
People with dependent children or adults with disabilities are given priority.
About two in five people helped by the council are single mums.
Single men with no children are the second most helped – just over a quarter of all cases.
Homeless couples with children make up 17% of Kirklees’ cases.
The council says the top three causes of homelessness are problems with short term tenancies, being kicked out by parents, and a person walking out on a violent relationship.
Councillors will discuss the issue at a meeting of the Economy and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Panel on Thursday.