NEWHAM IS ENGLAND’S HOMELESSNESS HOTSPOT
Newham has the highest rate of homelessness in England, a new report from Shelter shows.
Statistics released by Shelter revealed that at least one in every 24 people in Newham is homeless – the highest rate in the country.
The figures, from an analysis of the most recent data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, showed that an estimated 14,611 people in Newham are homeless.
The vast majority, 14,535, are in temporary accommodation, which includes those in hostels, living in B&Bs or ‘sofa-surfing’. In addition, 76 were recorded as sleeping rough – though this figure is expected to be much higher.
Across the country, at least 320,000 people are homeless, an increase of 13,000 from last year. That’s one in every 200 people who are homeless in the England.
Amanda Dubarry, Chief Executive of Caritas Anchor House, says “The level of need in the borough, where Caritas Anchor House is based, is extreme. There’s been chronic underinvestment in housing and supported housing in this borough for many, many years.”
In the last year, Caritas Anchor House received over four times as many referrals as those able to be accepted and booked in, despite running at over 97% occupancy.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper Tommy, who has been living at Caritas Anchor House for 14 months, said “It’s never been this bad. More and more people are becoming homeless. It starts from having a job, then something happens in your life and then you don’t have money coming in.
“Some people have networks, but others don’t have anyone. They’re on their own. Before they know it, they’re at rock bottom. And they have no one and they’re just trying to exist.”
John Lowery, our Director of Frontline Services, says the lack of affordable housing has made it very difficult to rehouse people in Newham. “That’s a challenge because we’ve got people who’ve got local connections and networks who want to retain those networks and connections,” he said. It is all the more difficult now that an increasing number of private landlords are refusing to take residents on universal credit.
Caritas Anchor House aims to provide long-term support which enables a permanent transition away from homelessness. In the last year alone we have helped 262 people build their new beginnings, with 45 people securing paid employment with our support.
Furthermore, in response to the rising levels of homelessness and the increased danger colder weather brings for people rough sleeping, we are working with Newham Council to open a Rough Sleeper’s Assessment Hub this December. Our aim is that that, with support, more people than ever before will be provided accommodation and will be able to leave life on the streets behind.