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Preston’s homeless figures are lowest in the region

Posted on - 23rd November, 2018 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Housing, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The former BHS store in Preston city centre regularly has people sleeping rough in the doorways Pic: Tony Worrall
The former BHS store in Preston city centre regularly has people sleeping rough in the doorways Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston has the lowest rates of homelessness in the North West, a new survey has revealed.

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The statistics from housing charity Shelter, shine a light on homelessness in the North West and highlight the region’s deepening housing crisis.

Across the North West, a shocking 10,500 people have no secure accommodation.

Here in Preston,  19 people are living on the streets and a further 29 in temporary accommodation – the equivalent of one person in every 2,952.

And while the number of people with no secure place to stay is a worrying sign, Preston fares better than all other towns and cities in the region.

Read more: Fight against rough sleeping in Preston receives huge cash boost

Manchester remains the area worst affected with 94 rough sleepers and 3948 in temporary housing – or one in every 135 people in the city, followed by Salford (one in 385) and Trafford (one in 666).

Neighbouring districts South Ribble and Ribble Valley have no rough sleepers, but South Ribble has 74 people in temporary accommodation (one in 1,492) and Ribble Valley has 25 in temporary homes (one in 2,346).

Leader of Preston City Council councillor Matthew Brown said: “It is a sobering fact that so many people in our region are facing homelessness and that this number is increasing.

“However I am pleased that our work to tackle the root causes of homelessness with our partners is having a positive effect along with our policies to develop a more inclusive local economy.

“If there is one homeless family it is one too many so we will continue working collaboratively to reduce homelessness in Preston.”

Cabinet Member for Communities and Social Justice for Preston City Council councillor Nweeda Khan said: “While there are still people in Preston with housing needs and facing homelessness, we are working hard to prevent it from happening.

“I am pleased to see that the proactive work we have been doing with partners, such as The Foxton Centre, Lancashire Constabulary and other support services is making a real difference for the people who need it the most.

“Through our Fairness Agenda we have prioritised vulnerable people through our Affordable Housing schemes, offering Housing Advice Service, Make Every Adult Matter programme and our Homeless Strategy.”

Read more: Former BHS store won’t be boarded up yet

John Ryan, Shelter Manchester Hub Manager said“It’s unforgivable that thousands of people in the North 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.

“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.

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