COUNCIL accommodation for the homeless in Brighton and Hove is not fit for purpose, according to the chief executive of a charity.

Justlife is a charity that works with homeless people and campaigns on issues over what they call “unsupported temporary accommodation” in Brighton and Hove.

Its founder and chief executive Gary Bishop said: “Homeless people face issues like drug addiction, alcohol dependency, amputations and head injuries and unsupported accommodation isn’t the right environment for them, yet so many homeless people live in these places.

“They report feeling out of control, some will commit suicide.

“Often people would rather take their chances on the street.”

Former residents of the council’s temporary accommodation at Kendal Court in Newhaven have spoken of the “horrendous” conditions.

Mr Bishop added: “We need solutions for the short, medium and long term so that we aren’t facing these issues in five or ten years’ time.

“Money is tight everywhere, we know that, but we can’t keep saying it’s really difficult.

“A couple of people going round to provide care and support wouldn’t cost much.

“Deaths in temporary accommodation are happening up and down the country, it’s a much bigger problem than most people realise.”

When asked about deaths in temporary accommodation, Brighton coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said: “It is only too easy to criticise the services provided, particularly when they are in residential areas and may bring with them a degree of disruption.

“It is also easy to condemn those who find themselves in need of those services. They may have mental health needs often in combination with conditions of addiction and dependency.

“Those who work in this area are invariably dedicated and caring and by their input they can help people who thought there was nothing for them turn their lives around.”

Talking about the five Kendal Court residents who died in the last two months, she said: “I am sure the East Sussex coroner would take a similar view to mine.”

A spokesman from Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Each of these deaths is a tragedy.

“Our thoughts are always first and foremost with their families and loved ones, but the deaths can also have a deep impact on staff helping care for them.”