This is how many homeless people there are in Preston

The true scale of homelessness in Preston has been laid bare.

By Mike Hill
Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am

New analysis from charity Shelter reveals dozens of people in the city are homeless.

With homelessness growing across the nation, the organisation is calling for radical change to tackle a crisis which “blights lives”.

The Shelter report suggests that at least 71 people in Preston are homeless.

Charity Shelter's report suggests at least 71 people in Preston are homeless

Of those, 48 were living in temporary accommodation arranged by the council at the end of March, the latest period for which data is available.

And 23 people were sleeping rough, according to data for Autumn last year.

Across the North West, 9,000 people are estimated to be without a permanent home, while this figure stands at 280,000 across England.

The national figure includes estimates for people in temporary accommodation at the end of March, and those waiting to move out of unfit housing.

It also includes the most recent data on rough sleepers and those in homeless hostels.

Shelter says the number has increased by 23,000 since 2016, meaning one in every 200 people is now known to be without a home.

But the figures could be much higher, it says, as hidden forms of homelessness such as “sofa surfing” or overcrowded households often go unrecorded.

Chief executive Polly Neate said the analysis shows the “grim truth our new government must confront and do something radical to change”.

She added: “Homelessness blights lives and leaves a lasting imprint of trauma, and yet 280,000 people in England are without a home this Christmas. And many are only days away from joining them.

“As well as those facing serious ill health or even death sleeping rough on our streets this winter, there are thousands of families trapped in grotty emergency B&Bs, with no space for children to sit and eat, let alone play."

Shelter's report said the new government must take "urgent" action to address the "dire lack of social homes at the crux of this emergency, before the situation is likely to get worse".

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said it was supporting councils to reduce the numbers of people in temporary accommodation.

He added: "[We're] giving £1.2bn to tackle all types of homelessness.

"Everyone should have somewhere safe to live, and councils have a duty to provide accommodation to those who need it, including families with children."