Shelter has today (8th November 2017) published a report showing Brighton and Hove in second place for the local authority areas outside London with the highest rates of people recorded as homeless. It reports that 4, 218 people are rough sleeping or living in temporary accommodation – that is one in 69 people in the City.
I have been asked for my comments by several media outlets. Here is what I have said to them:
“These figures do not surprise me, but they sadden me deeply. Each one of these 4,218 individuals has uncertainty in their lives, and most will be experiencing the extreme hardship resulting from not having somewhere to call home.
“In one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the world, these figures highlight the human tragedy of homelessness as well the need for a radical change in government policy.
“We need a fundamental change in approach and a massive programme of council house building.
“Merely building more top of the range flats and houses in Brighton will do nothing to help this appalling situation. That will merely fuel the inflationary consequences resulting from people selling up and moving down from London.
“We are seeing people who have been in housing for a considerable amount of time losing their accommodation due to relation breakdowns and the ending of assured shorthold tenancies which has been the single greatest factor for people ending up homeless.
“Thank goodness that the majority of the 4,218 are not rough sleeping. As well as building new council houses, we need to prevent people losing their homes in the first place by continuing to ensure that housing and other advice services are properly funded.”