Shocking statistics show 23,800 people across the West Midlands are now homeless
Written by Tristan Harris on November 25, 2018
SHOCKING new statistics from Shelter shows 23,800 people across the West Midlands are recorded as homeless.
The figures show the true scale of the region’s worsening housing crisis despite Government pledges to tackle the problem.
It means the overall number of homeless has increased by 2,500 in the last year and means one in every 246 people in the West Midlands are homeless, either sleeping on the streets or stuck in temporary accommodation, including hostels and B&Bs.
Shelter has launched an urgent appeal calling on the public to support its frontline advisers as they work to help the growing number of people trying to find or keep their home.
In its annual landmark review, the housing charity combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation and social services figures.
As these records are not definitive, the true extent of homelessness is likely even greater.
To identify where the problem is most acute in the West Midlands, the charity mapped the top five hotspots in the region with the highest levels of homelessness.
Birmingham topped the list where one in 73 people are homeless.
Overall, almost 320,000 people in Britain are now homeless – an increase of 13,000 people since last year.
Shelter’s report ‘Homelessness in Great Britain: the numbers behind the story’ warns this is due to a combination unaffordable rents, frozen housing benefits and a severe shortage of social housing.
Vicky Hines, Shelter Birmingham Hub Manager, said: “It’s unforgivable that thousands of people in the West
Midlands have been swept up by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home.
“These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of people right across the region.
“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.
“Shelter’s services have never been more needed. That’s why we’re asking the public to support us this winter so that we can answer as many calls as possible and have trained advisers on hand when people need them most.”
To support Shelter’s urgent appeal please visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70020 to donate £3.