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Rise in Sussex families living in B&B
Nearly 1,500 homeless families have been forced to live in temporary accommodation in the past year in Sussex.
New figures have revealed that there were 1,482 households living in temporary accommodation in 2012 – up from 1,197 in 2011.
In Brighton and Hove alone the number of homeless families living in temporary accommodation rose from 502 in 2011 to 752 this year – a rise of 49.8%.
It means of the 285 extra homeless families in Sussex living in temporary accommodation, 250 were in Brighton and Hove.
The National Housing Federation has warned the situation is getting worse and said they feared Government benefits caps could leave even more families needing to stay in temporary housing such as bed and breakfast.
A Federation spokeswoman said: “The number of homeless families living in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation in the South East has risen by nearly three quarters in the first few months of 2012.
“Alternative temporary accommodation to B&Bs, in the form of houses or flats leased by local authorities and housing associations, provides short-term homes to around 26,000 homeless families.
“This accommodation is more stable and secure than B&Bs, with the space and access required for children to live a normal life and for parents to work their way out of homelessness and towards a better future. But from April 2013, families living in these crisis homes could be hit by the new universal benefit cap, which will limit the total amount of benefit they can claim to £500 a week.
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Homelessness is an increasing problem both nationally and locally because of the economic climate, new benefit restrictions and sharp local rises in private sector rents in the city of around 7% each year which is higher than the national average.
“We helped 496 homeless people last year, have an outreach team that offers support to rough sleepers and our joined-up homelessness services have been cited by the government as an example of best practice. “Our housing needs assessments are robust and fair and while there is a serious shortage of affordable housing in the city we have a duty to make sure the accommodation that is available goes to the people who need it most.”
Are you living in temporary accommodation in Brighton and Hove? Tell us your story by calling the Newsdesk on 01273 544519 or emailing email@example.com