Your Song Rita Ora
16 December 2016, 00:00
The estimated figure of rough sleepers in Brighton and Hove has almost doubled in the past year according to a study led by the City Council.
The number comes from the annual review of the rough sleepers in the city, using a snapshot of one night’s to illustrate the current picture.
Conducted last month, it is estimated there are 144 people sleeping on the streets locally, compared to 78 in 2015. This year’s figure of 144 rough sleepers is split between 126 men and 18 women.
Brighton & Hove’s 2016 estimate reflects a national trend of rising rough sleeper numbers around the country.
Cllr Clare Moonan, Lead Member for Rough Sleeping, said: “At first glance, the numbers seems to show a large increase on last year’s estimate. The reality is that we now have a more accurate reflection of the situation in the city.”
Homeless charity Crisis say nationally the ending of a private tenancy remains the leading cause of homelessness at 32% of formally accepted cases, while the total number of households in temporary accommodation reached 73,120 - an increase of 9% compared to last year.
A spokesperson for the charity said: "More and more people are struggling to pay their rent in an increasingly insecure rental market, and when people do find themselves in difficulty, housing benefit may not even be enough to afford a cheap room in a shared house. More and more people are becoming homeless as a result, and it’s getting harder for people to escape homelessness once they’re in it."
Julian works at Brighton and Hove City Mission Food Bank and tries to help those in desperate need of support:
Photos courtesy of Valeria Keller and Press Association
The council has prevented 562 households from becoming homeless this year, but people in the area are facing cuts to services and a rise in council tax of nearly 4% if current proposals for the 2017/18 budget council the are implemented. The proposals will be voted upon in February and include:
£600,000 cut to budget for tackling substance misuse
£455,000 cut to council buildings maintenance
£700,000 cut to temporary accommodation budget
Every year, around 4 thousand 500 people need help to avoid homelessness in Brighton and Hove. The aim by the council is to have no-one sleeping rough by 2020. However, the proposed cuts are likely to make it harder for people who are facing hard times to avoid homelessness.
There are more than 30 charities working with homeless people in Brighton and Hove.
Click here to see how you can work with them to help tackle the issue of homelessness on Brighton’s streets.