A homeless man has slammed the council after it kicked him out of his accommodation and told him he could cope with living on the streets.

Leon Rose, 50, was forced to leave his temporary accommodation in Brighton in 2019 after the city council wrote to him saying that he could “cope and function reasonably well … if you were to become homeless or to remain homeless”.

Now, the council has told him that after leaving rehab they consider him "intentionally homeless" and they will not help him find housing.

Leon, who was “born and bred” in Brighton, said: “I have a letter from the council saying that I could cope with being homeless.

“They are saying nothing has changed over the past few years but I’m currently homeless and my back is crumbling.


“They said my back problem doesn’t cause me any problems and I wouldn’t find being homeless any different.”

Leon was living temporarily in Percival Terrace in 2019 when Brighton and Hove City Council told him that he would need to leave because he was not a priority case.

In a letter, he was told that “anyone who is homeless or faces being homeless will inevitably suffer harm by undergoing that experience”.

But the letter continued: “You are a person that I am satisfied is able to cope and function reasonably well with ‘day-to-day' living and this would I believe still be the case if you were to become homeless or to remain homeless.”

Since being kicked out in 2019, Leon has been living in a number of different places, including The Circle, a supported living programme, in Portslade.

After a stint in prison for stealing a packet of crisps, Leon made another application for help from the council but was told that this was “the same as the last application”.

The Argus: Leon holding one of his lettersLeon holding one of his letters (Image: Andrew Gardner | The Argus)

After voluntarily leaving rehab, Leon said that the council now considered him "intentionally homeless".

Under council guidelines, to be considered a priority need a homeless applicant must meet criteria such as having a disability or being a former prisoner.

The council argues that Leon’s degenerative back problem is not bad enough to be considered a disability. The letter does not mention his time in prison.

Leon is still hoping to find a home and would like to continue his passion for drawing and art, something he picked up while in custody.

A council spokesman said: “We cannot comment on individual cases.

“We always assess people’s circumstances within the context of national legislation, such as the Housing Act 1996 (as amended).

“Decisions in relation to ‘priority need’ ,which determines vulnerability from a homelessness perspective, and ‘intentionality’ ,which determines whether a person has lost their previous accommodation as a result of action on their part, is set within this legal context.

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“If a person is not satisfied with the outcome of a decision under the Housing Act 1996 (as amended), they have the statutory right to seek a review.

“If a person is still not satisfied with the outcome of the review, they can then appeal through the court on a point of law.

"The best way of reducing homelessness, both of the more visible rough sleepers and wider households, is through prevention.”