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Third of homeless people seeking help from councils left on the streets

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Charities urge Chancellor to use Wednesday’s Budget to end homelessness, with councils lacking enough available affordable housing

More than a third of homeless people who approached their councils for help either ended up back on the streets or became rough sleepers, new research has revealed.

According to a new report from the homelessness charity, Crisis, 38% of people who approached their local authority for help either remained homeless or became homeless because councils do not have enough available affordable housing.

The report, based on 984 surveys and 89 in-depth interviews with people experiencing homelessness, provides the first real insight into how the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) is working in practice since it was introduced two years ago.

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Budget must boost funding for homelessness.

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Responding to a new report from the charity Crisis on the impact of the Homelessness Reduction Act, Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Housing & Planning, has urged the government to address unsustainable pressures on hard-pressed homelessness services.

“The government must use the Budget to boost funding for local homelessness services”, he said. “We’re also calling on ministers to support the measures desperately needed to prevent homelessness occurring in the first place – including restoring housing benefit to levels that will improve affordability and giving councils the powers we need to build social housing at significant scale.”

Lack of housing stopping councils from helping homeless people, charity warns

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A lack of affordable housing is forcing local authorities to leave people homeless, a homelessness charity has warned.
New research by Crisis has revealed that nearly four in 10 (38%) people who approached their council for help since the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) was introduced either remained homeless or became homeless because of a lack of affordable housing.

The charity found that more people today are getting access to the housing support they need, but warned that a dwindling housing supply and rising rents means councils have little to no housing available for more and more people.

The report, based on 984 surveys and 89 in-depth interviews with people experiencing homelessness, found that the only support councils were able to offer some of the interviewees was information on how to rent privately.

Several of those surveyed stated that this simply consisted of a list of potential landlords for them to contact, only to find they were unable to access these properties because their housing benefit would not cover the rent.

Crisis called on the Government to urgently invest in housing benefit so that it covers the cheapest third of rents and commit to building 90,000 social homes each year for the next 15 years.

‘It’s deeply distressing that, across England, councils are being forced to leave the people they are trying to help on the streets or drifting from sofa to sofa – all because they cannot find somewhere safe and affordable for them to live,’ said Crisis chief executive, Jon Sparkes.

‘The HRA has made some good progress in preventing people from becoming homeless, but it’s worrying to see that it’s being constrained by a chronic lack of housing and cuts to housing benefit.

‘The HRA can be at the heart of ending homelessness for good, as this report shows, but this is only possible if councils are properly resourced and have the tools, they need to help people leave homelessness behind for good.

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Lotus Sanctuary Women’s Day Event –

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In Celebration of International Women’s day 2020, Lotus Sanctuary hosted ‘Wolves Women’s Day’ – a day to empower women through shared learning, new connections and a celebration of all it means to be a woman. The day was packed with workshops, talks, live music, stalls and more, all of which were led by Women. We had a great turn out and we’re joined by the mayoress of Wolverhampton, Claire Darke.

The essence of the event was to capture Lotus’ slogan, “Empowered Women, Empowering Women”, something we feel the event did. The stalls, talks and workshops were all female run, again showcasing local women’s talents and successes.

All funds raised go to Lotus Sanctuary; a community interest company with the pure and simple of intention of housing and empowering vulnerable women suffering a range of complex issues. We offer long-term solutions to ladies with complex needs. Options for homeless women in the UK were severely limited, with the choice generally being between male dominated hostels, rife with drugs and exploitation or overcrowded refuges that exclude women with mental health or substance misuse issues.

At Lotus we do things differently. Our residents are housed in either self-contained flats and apartments or are housed with only one other person. This allows them to turn a house into a home and allows us to offer individualised holistic support. After we meet the crucial need of safe and secure accommodation our support is then structured around the resident’s core issues and needs, allowing residents to recover from the issues that led them to homelessness in the first place.

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