Newham has the highest rate of homelessness in England
- Credit: Archant
Newham has the highest rate of homelessness in England, a new report from housing charity Shelter shows.
The charity has described the scale of homelessness across the country as “unforgivable”, saying action needs to be taken ahead of the winter months.
Shelter’s analysis of the most recent data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows that an estimated 14,611 people in Newham are homeless.
The vast majority, 14,535, are in temporary accommodation, which includes those in hostel beds, living in B&Bs or with their own arrangements such as staying for short periods with different friends or family.
The remaining 76 were recorded as sleeping rough.
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It means that one in every 24 people in Newham are homeless – the highest rate in the country.
Across London, one in 53 people are homeless – the highest rate of England’s nine regions.
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The chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, said: “These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of people right across the country.
“Due to the perfect storm of spiralling rents, welfare cuts and a total lack of social housing, record numbers of people are sleeping out on the streets or stuck in the cramped confines of a hostel room.
“We desperately need action now to change tomorrow for the hundreds of thousands whose lives will be blighted by homelessness this winter.”
Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz has vowed to tackle homelessness in the borough.
She said: “These figures demonstrate the desperate extent of the challenge we are facing in Newham and I am determined to tackle this.
“Since becoming mayor, I have accelerated the work of the council to help those who have fallen victim to the government’s housing crisis by implementing a new approach.
“However, it is important to remember that this situation has not been created by the policies of the council. It is the tragic result of central government’s relentless austerity drive, their attack on social housing and cuts to local government grants.
“We have also received the highest grant of any London council - £107 million – for affordable housing from the Mayor of London. However, we must not be complacent – I will continue to put housing as one of my top priorities to tackle the housing crisis head on.”