PEOPLE in more than 1,000 households registered as homeless in Kirklees last year.
And that looks set to be repeated this year, with more than 200 households becoming homeless in the first quarter of 2006.
Long waiting lists and low availability mean many people face little chance of a council home.
Most are forced to live with parents or friends to avoid sleeping rough.
The council's waiting list in July showed 8,545 requests, including 1,350 transfer requests from existing tenants.
In September there were just 246 unoccupied council homes in Kirklees.
Another 174 flats and houses are undergoing significant long-term works, which means they are uninhabitable.
Government figures show 306 households in temporary accommodation in Kirklees at the end of June.
This mainly takes the form of hostels or bed and breakfast accommodation.
Kirklees has the second highest number of families in temporary housing across Yorkshire and the Humber.
Leeds has the most with 428. Wakefield and Barnsley have 125 and 20 households respectively.
Neil Holland, director of Huddersfield-based charity Chas Housing Aid, said the council was doing some good work, but could do more to fight homelessness.
He added: "It's estimated there are six or seven thousand empty privately-owned homes across Kirklees.
"The council could remove the council tax discount on empty properties, do them up and handle the renting of them.
"Or as a last resort buy them under a compulsory purchase order."
Mr Holland said councils had a legal duty to house homeless people with a priority need.
They include vulnerable groups including 16 or 17-year-olds, people with children or the disabled.
He added: "Although that is good it leaves large groups uncovered, which is one of the holes people can fall through."
Mr Holland said there was limited temporary accommodation choice in Kirklees.
He added: "There is a problem with a lack of hostels in this area.
"If you are a 16-year- old and have to share living space and a bathroom with people with substance abuse problems or who are much older than you, that isn't desirable."
Mr Holland said there was not one single reason why Kirklees had so many people in temporary accommodation.
He said: "There are a number of complex factors - and people disagree what they are.
"There has been a huge lack of investment in social housing in the last 20 years. Many houses were sold under the Right to Buy law.
"There are problems with the affordable private rented property sector that create pressure. People have no choice."
Kirklees Council was asked to comment about homelessness in the district but was unable to do so before tonight's edition went to press.