Homelessness in Wakefield: Relationship break ups force dozens to seek support

Relationship break ups forced dozens of people to apply for homelessness support in the Wakefield district last year.

By David Spereall
Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 5:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 5:12 pm

The end of a relationship with a partner was one of the most common reasons people applied for help finding shelter during 2019, with 136 asking for support.

Evictions, domestic abuse and property disrepair were also among the causes listed.

A total of more than 1,300 people threatened with homelessness were given support by the local authority last year.

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136 people in Wakefield were left facing homelessness after separating from their partner last year.

That ranged from help with outstanding rent to being put up in temporary accommodation or in hotels.

The figures were revealed in a report going before senior councillors next week.

It comes as Wakefield Council lays out its new strategy for tackling the problem over the next three years.

Close to £6m will be invested in the issue, while a Street Support website detailing information and advice, will be set up by the authorities.

Homelessness in Wakefield is up 50 per cent since 2010.

Councillor Faith Heptinstall, portfolio holder for heath, 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."

Research revealed by the homeless charity Shelter in 2016 showed around 30 per cent of people feared they would have nowhere to go if their relationship ended.

Number of people referred to council for homelessness by cause in 2019 (selected)

End of private rented tenancy - 295

Family no longer able or willing to accommodate - 289

Evicted from supported housing - 158

Domestic abuse - 151

End of a relationship (non-violent) - 136

End of social rented tenancy - 109

Violence or harassment - 62

Mortgage repossession - 15

Property disrepair - 7

Local Democracy Reporting Service