Homelessness in Wakefield: numbers living in temporary accommodation hits two-year high

The number of people being put up in temporary accommodation in the Wakefield district is at its highest for at least two years.

Thursday, 27th February 2020, 10:58 am
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 10:58 am

A total of 216 individuals were being housed in short-term shelter in December 2019, after they asked for help.

Homelessness and rough sleeping has risen sharply across the area since 2018, with a report this week showing dozens have nowhere go after breaking up with their partners.

The same report says that as a result there is extra pressure on local services and emergency housing for those people.

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Homelessness in Wakefield is on the rise.

Although the number of people being put up in bed and breakfasts has fallen over the last year, 37 of the 216 staying in temporary accommodation in December were in hotels.

Wakefield Council has outlined plans to try to address the problem.

The report said: "A particular challenge is the reliance on the use of hotel accommodation.

"This has been necessary because of the significantly increased demand for temporary accommodation, particularly for single people.

"This strategy aims to reduce the reliance on the use of hotels through earlier intervention and increased housing options.

"The recent figures, intelligence and estimates considering the actual numbers of rough sleepers in district indicate that rough sleeping is on the increase and becoming more prevalent."

The council says it is upping its investment in tackling homelessness, and has set aside close to £6m for it over the next year.

Councillor Faith Heptinstall, portfolio holder for adults and health, said: "Homelessness is one of the major social issues of our times – affecting our district as well as most towns and cities across the country.

"We recognise that it is a major challenge - and for this reason the new strategy is focused on clarifying how the already strong network of services that we have in the district can be best focused on preventing and relieving homelessness and rough sleeping."

Local Democracy Reporting Service