Demand for Leicester Shelter Housing Advice up 39% as homelessness increases

The Shelter Housing Aid and Research Project Annual Review 2013-14 contains an article looking at current and developing housing issues.

It says:

“Locally homelessness is increasing. In July 2013 the City Council approved its new 5 year Homelessness Strategy. Over the previous 2 years the strategy identified that the Council had seen 2443 households who face homelessness. This is an increase of over 22% since 2010-11. The position in Leicestershire vis-a-vis homelessness is little better with many districts reporting increases of over 10% per year? Meanwhile at SHARP between October and March 2014 some 441 households contacted our Housing Advice Centre seeking help – up 39%.”

“Whilst homelessness is increasing, the resources to tackle it are being reduced. The new City Council Strategy agreed a budget cut of over £2 million – a reduction of 30%. As a result the number of places in temporary accommodation will drop from 424 to 264 and many of the hostels in the City will close – indeed some have already done so. At Leicestershire County Council more dramatic reductions are proposed with the budget cut for support for homeless people cut from £1,363 million to just £300,000 – a reduction of over 70%.”

“The acute problems of homelessness locally are unfortunately are unfortunately being compounded by our failure to build sufficient homes in Leicester to keep pace with the increasing number of households we need over 700 new affordable homes per year. However over the last 4 years an average of only just over 200 homes have been built. The consequence is increased overcrowding, more people living in poor quality unsuitable accommodation, and all too often homelessness.”

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