The number of people recorded as homeless in the South East has reached 27,600 a shocking new report by Shelter reveals today.
In the most extensive review of its kind, the housing charity combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation and social services figures, which showed the number of homeless people in the region has increased by 20% in a year. However, as government records are not definitive, the true figure of homelessness is likely to be even higher.
To identify where the problem is most acute in the South East, the charity mapped the top 20 hotspots in the region with the highest levels of homelessness. Brighton and Hove topped the list where 1 in every 69 people are homeless. This was followed by Milton Keynes (1 in 110), Slough (1 in 132), and Gosport (1 in 160).
Shelter has launched an urgent appeal in response to the mounting crisis, calling on the public to support its frontline advisers as they work tirelessly to help people to stay in their home or find a new one.
Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter said: “It’s shocking to think that today, almost 28,000 people in the South East are waking up homeless. Some will have spent the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy, hostel room with their children. And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for.
“On a daily basis, we speak to people and families who are desperately trying to escape the devastating trap of homelessness. A trap that is tightening thanks to decades of failure to build enough affordable homes and the impact of welfare cuts.
“As this crisis continues to unfold, the work of our frontline advisers remains absolutely critical. We will do all we can to make sure no-one is left to fight homelessness on their own. But we cannot achieve this alone; we urgently need the public’s support to be there for everyone who needs us right now.”
The charity’s report, ‘Far from alone: Homelessness in Britain in 2017’, also shows just how hard it can be to escape homelessness amid a drought of affordable homes and welfare reforms, such as the four-year freeze on housing benefit.
Across England, over a third of people currently living in temporary accommodation will still be homeless in a year’s time.
To support Shelter’s urgent appeal please visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70080 to donate £3.