Monday 24 June 2024
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2,000 people in Nottingham are homeless – highest in East Midlands, says charity

New research from Shelter shows at least 7,900 people in the East Midlands will spend Christmas without a home, including 3,600 children.

This is a stark increase of 33% in one year.

Shelter’s comprehensive analysis of official homelessness figures and responses to Freedom of Information requests reveal homelessness in the region has risen rapidly in just 12 months: 213 people are sleeping rough on any given night (18% increase) and 7,300 are living in temporary accommodation (31% increase) – most of whom are families.

Shelter’s research also looks at places across the East Midlands where homelessness is most acute.

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Nottingham has the highest number of people without a home, with 2,000 people homeless, followed by West Northamptonshire where 1,330 people are homeless and 970 people in Leicester.

Councils have a legal duty to house families and people who are vulnerable, but the acute shortage of affordable homes means they are having to rely on temporary accommodation for long periods.

The growing emergency is leaving families stuck for months in grotty hostels, B&Bs and cramped bedsits, often having to share beds with no, or inadequate, cooking and laundry facilities. People not entitled to accommodation may end up on the streets, sofa-surfing or in dangerous living conditions.

Nottingham rough sleepers

Shelter’s frontline services are dealing with the grim reality of rising homelessness every day from supporting families crammed into a one-room B&B with mouldy walls and bed bugs, to providing emergency assistance to people faced with a night on the streets. The charity has launched an urgent appeal calling on the public to help it be there for people experiencing homelessness this winter.

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Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Homelessness is on nobody’s Christmas list, but 7,900 people in the East Midlands will spend this time of year in a tiny hostel room or freezing in a doorway.

“The housing emergency is out of control. Chronic underinvestment in social homes has left people unable to afford skyrocketing private rents and plunged record numbers into homelessness. It is appalling that the government has allowed thousands of families to be packed into damp and dirty B&B’s and hostel rooms, which are traumatising children and making people desperately ill.

•  Nottingham City Council plans to accept £7m grants to help homeless people and families

“Until the government takes this emergency seriously, our frontline services will do everything they can to help people keep or find a safe home this winter. It is only with the public’s support that we can continue to provide vital advice and support and fight for the solutions people want and need to end homelessness. To donate to Shelter’s Urgent Appeal, visit shelter.org.uk/donate.”

To donate to Shelter’s Urgent Winter Appeal and give people experiencing homelessness the support and security they need this Christmas, visit shelter.org.uk/donate.

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