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Brighton and Hove's homeless population set to rise
4:40pm Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
The number of people becoming homeless will continue to grow over the next two years as welfare reforms bite, a housing chief has warned.
Andy Winter, the chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust (BHT), said the charity’s services were under increasing pressure.
Its First Base day centre, which was refurbished earlier this year, was expected to see 30 people per day but regularly more than twice as many people have visited for help.
The Argus revealed yesterday that Brighton’s numerous agencies are all at capacity or have seen an increase in clients, according to a survey.
Yesterday BHT director of advice John Holmstrom spoke at a conference in London about the way Brighton and Hove deals with homelessness.
Mr Winter said: “We’re hearing what’s happening elsewhere in the country and there is a lack of commitment, involvement and engagement by other local authorities.
“We’re here because people look at Brighton and Hove as a model of good practice.
“The number of rough sleepers has massively increased over the last two years and that is only going to get bigger over the next two years as the welfare reforms bite.
"There is a wide acceptance that the situation this year is worse than last, and that was much worse than the year before.”
Despite increasing numbers of people needing help, Mr Winter said there was excellent provision for homeless people in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, where BHT alone dealt with 11,000 people last year.
The city’s new No Second Night Out worker, employed in April, picks up people as soon as they start rough sleeping in Brighton and puts them into temporary accommodation.
New projects also see homeless people picked up if they are admitted to hospital.
The charity coordinates the city’s severe weather shelters, which open when temperatures drop below zero, and runs a hostel in the city.
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Email kimberly.middleton@ theargus.co.uk or call 01273 544511.