Brighton and Hove remains a hotspot for homelessness

New Government figures put Brighton and Hove in the top ten local authorities for falling homeless numbers – but it remains a rough sleeping hotspot.

The figures, which are the result of a count in November by the city council, say the city’s rough sleeping population has fallen 64 per cent year on year, with 64 people in 2018 compared to 178 the previous year.

However, the council did admit the figure for 2018 cannot be directly compared with the previous year because the count method was changed – a move which came in for criticism by opposition councillors.

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Brighton and Hove remains in the top ten areas for homelessness

Other areas with high rough sleeping figures include Westminster (306), Camden (141) and Manchester (123).

Brighton and Hove remains in the top ten areas for homelessness

Cllr Clare Moonan, Brighton and Hove’s lead councillor for rough sleeping, said: “We’re experiencing an ongoing national housing crisis and it’s shocking how quickly someone can end up in dire need on the streets.

“Helping people move away from rough sleeping is a priority for this council and, working with our partners, we’re making a positive sustainable difference to people’s lives.

“We’ve invested in services and successfully bid to government for funding to run new shelters and expand support for people who are rough sleeping. We’re moving in the right direction but I’m concerned about what the future holds when the current government funding ends in March 2020, little over a year away. The flow of new rough sleepers every week still remains very high.

“While the number of people who are sleeping rough at any time is considerably lower than in previous years, there is still much work to be done. In particular, to address the underlying causes of rough sleeping and homelessness at a national level. As far as I am concerned, even one person rough sleeping is too many. We will do all we can to help.

“At the same time, our services are stretched and we urge anyone without accommodation arranged not to come to the city.”