DOZENS of homeless people evicted from the hotel they were sheltering in have found new accommodation.

Fifty four rough sleepers staying at the Chatsworth Hotel in Worthing through coronavirus lockdown were told to pack their bags last week due to an insurance issue.

The hotel said it did not want to evict its residents but had been left with no choice because of the issue.

Now homeless charity Turning Tides has said temporary housing for all 54 homeless people has been found.

But chief executive John Holmstrom warned many of the arrangements may not last past July.

“The challenge now becomes whether these arrangements will stick. They were made in a rush,” he said.

“From what we understand, central Government funding has been nowhere near enough for councils. We have a window of opportunity here to help rebuild lives.”

The Argus: The hotel evicted 54 homeless people last week due to an insurance issueThe hotel evicted 54 homeless people last week due to an insurance issue

Mr Holmstrom was full of praise for Worthing’s community after its quick response meant the rough sleepers had a new place to stay.

But he said the experience had been very distressing and traumatic for them.

And he had strong words for the hotel’s insurance firm Axa.

“I am really cross with the insurer,” Mr Holmstrom said.

“Imagine being off the streets and in a secure place, planning a future for yourself, and then being told you would have to leave.

“I hope Axa gives a reply to the questions which have been asked of them.

“It’s really important insurers don’t start breaking ranks on this.

“The human cost of their decision has been great.

“Surely a major insurance company has a responsibility in this pandemic.”

The Argus: Homeless charity chief John Holmstrom criticised the Chatsworth's insurance firm AxaHomeless charity chief John Holmstrom criticised the Chatsworth's insurance firm Axa

An Axa spokeswoman said: “Axa UK has provided and continues to provide support for many of our business customers as part of the national effort to tackle Covid-19.

“This type of situation is extremely complex and requires multiple considerations.

“Unfortunately due to customer confidentiality we are unable to confirm any details relating to this specific situation.”

Turning Tides said it is now concentrating on supporting the rough sleepers to help them rebuild their futures during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

It said it would watch closely whether a promised increase in funding by the Government would have any impact on the rough sleepers it supports.

To donate to Turning Tides, visit

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set u p to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit