A VULNERABLE man has died in a notorious temporary accommodation block.

Shane Hall’s body was found in Kendal Court, Newhaven, late last month. He was 49.

Police are treating his death as “unexplained but not suspicious”.

Friends described him as a “loveable rogue” but said he had not been given the support he needed.

Kendal Court is used by Brighton and Hove City Council to house those at risk of homelessness. Many staying there have mental health problems.

At least eight residents have died in the last four years and those living there, charity workers and politicians have all raised concerns.

The council has been criticised for “farming out” vulnerable people from Brighton and leaving them miles outside the city without proper support, something it denies.

Shane’s close friend Collyn Pollitt, 62, said: “I’m still coming to terms with his death. It broke my heart. Eight people have died in Kendal Court since I’ve been here. That’s in four years.

“Shane was down on his luck, like lots of us here. He had been staying for seven or eight months and he suffered from mental health issues.

“He came to me crying – you could see he was unstable, but there was no support at all.

“It was his birthday on the Friday. I made him a meal. My brother went to collect the plates on the Sunday, but no one answered the door.”

Collyn claims Kendal Court is not fit for purpose. He described how a caretaker had discovered the bodies of those who have died in the block.

“It’s no place to come to work,” he said. “I had another friend who died here. It was two weeks before they found him – and only because of the smell.”

In 2018, The Argus reported that five residents had died in the space of two months, prompting the city council to commission a report into temporary accommodation.

It found 31 people had died in temporary housing in the previous two years.

In the report, one Kendal Court resident said: “I am at risk, but also pose a risk to others because of my poor mental health if I am pushed.”

Collyn said there was a climate of fear in the block because people with vastly different needs are kept close together without proper help.

He is afraid to open his door at night. He said: “There are so many people here with different problems – drink, mental health, even prisoners fresh out of jail.

“Our needs aren’t being addressed at all. It’s terrible. There are around 60 rooms. It’s constantly full. They farm you out from Brighton so you’re out of the city, in Lewes District.

“I’m angry – but I’m also afraid. I don’t want anyone else to die. I want to live. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere – no one deserves to die here.”

Sussex Police confirmed officers were called to a property in Railway Road, Newhaven, shortly after 9.30pm on August 31, where the body of a 49-year-old man was found.

A spokeswoman said the death has been passed to the coroner’s office.

The force said it is supporting the council and “working closely with them to ensure the safety of residents in Kendal Court”.

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield said she was “extremely concerned about the living conditions of vulnerable people at Kendal Court”.

She asked the police to offer help to residents and accused Brighton and Hove City Council of “dumping people in the accommodation and providing no support”.

She said the council had promised to improve conditions after previous deaths in the block and argued action needs to be taken.

“These are unacceptable conditions that people are living in,” she said. “The council have taken the money for housing them and just dumped them in Newhaven.”

A council spokesman said: “Brighton and Hove is not dumping people as claimed. This is self-contained short-term accommodation which is of a good quality.

“Many people who become homeless are in need of support, and in response the council has provided a dedicated welfare officer team to support all homeless households in our emergency and short-term accommodation both within and outside of the city.

“Since Covid-19, they have been telephoning people to check on them as well as working with agencies as much as possible.

“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic our welfare officers were visiting Kendal Court at least once a week providing a drop-in service in addition to appointments and checking on people. Also prior to Covid-19, we held regular meetings with health colleagues in East Sussex County Council and voluntary and support agencies in the Newhaven area to ensure people placed in the area are supported, and to consider any arising issues.”