Bristol tops homelessness list in South West
BRISTOL has topped a list of homeless hotspots in the South West.
New figures from Shelter reveal that one in 48 people in the city are homeless and sleeping on the streets or stuck in temporary accommodation, including hostels and B&Bs.
The charity says that 10,653 people are recorded as homeless in the South West and argues the figure lays bare the true scale of the region’s housing crisis, despite repeated Government pledges to tackle the problem.
To identify where the problem is most acute in the South West, the charity mapped the top five hotspots in the region with the highest levels of homelessness.
Bristol, at the top, was followed by Gloucester, Weymouth and Portland, Purbeck and Plymouth.
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 figure of homelessness is likely even higher.
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.
Penny Walster, Shelter Bristol hub manager, said: "It’s unforgivable that thousands of people in the South West 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."
To support Shelter’s appeal please visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70020 to donate £3.