|1 in 98 Are Homeless in Hounslow|
Shelter report ranks borough 27th in country
2,744 in temporary accommodation and 34 sleeping rough in Hounslow. These are Shelter's latest figures in a conservative analysis on Britain's homeless.
In the most extensive review of its kind, the housing charity combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation and social services figures. This showed the number of homeless people in Britain has increased by 13,000 in a year. However, as government records are not definitive the true figure of homelessness is likely to be even higher.
Shelter has launched an urgent appeal in response to this 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. To support Shelter’s urgent appeal please visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70080 to donate £3.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s shocking to think that today, more than 300,000 people in Britain 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 hundreds of 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 services 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 freeze on housing benefit and recent roll-out of Universal Credit.
In England, where more people are affected, over a third of those living in temporary accommodation will still be homeless in a year’s time.
One in every 200 people in England is currently homeless. However, to identify where the epidemic is most acute, the charity mapped the top 50 hotspots with the highest levels of homelessness in the country.
Responding to the publication, London Councils' Executive member for housing, Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, said: "It is unacceptable that so many Londoners are unable to afford a permanent home due to the lack of housing supply and the impact of welfare reforms.
“London boroughs are on the front line, helping people out of homelessness alongside the voluntary sector, and we are urging government to help us. Central to this is boosting housing supply across the capital by removing the arbitrary restrictions on council investment in building new homes and reversing the 1% social rent cut, as well as driving further public and private investment in new homes."
Newham topped the list where 1 in every 25 people are homeless. This was closely followed by Haringey (1 in 29), Westminster (1 in 31), and Enfield (1 in 33). But it is not just in the capital where the picture is alarmingly bleak. Areas such as Luton, where 1 in 52 people are homeless, Birmingham (1 in 88) and Manchester (1 in 154) also feature in the top 50.
Case study: Victoria, 72, from London, is living in temporary accommodation after being made homeless because her landlord decided to sell her privately rented home, and she couldn’t find anywhere else to go.
Victoria said: “After getting my eviction notice I desperately tried to find another place to rent but to no avail. I found landlords either didn’t want to let to someone on housing benefit, even though I’ve always paid my rent, or the properties were simply too expensive for me.
“Presenting myself as homeless was in itself humiliating and scary. You’re left sitting around for hours, waiting to find out if you’ll have a place to stay that night. I’m in temporary accommodation now. I spend every day dealing with letting agents, searching for a place to rent, or just some way out of here. If I get the chance to visit a friend’s house it’s so hard to come back to this place afterwards, and leave behind the warm environment a of a real home.
“The whole thing makes me feel like there is something wrong with me. I’ve moved around a lot, and yet for the first time in my life I feel like I have no control over my situation. I’m not easily scared, but the fear is terrible – you just don’t know where you are doing to end up. I’m in a constant state of anxiety and stress. I hope that finally with Shelter’s help, I might one day find a safe place to call home again.”
We have asked Hounslow for a comment.