Dozens of homeless people died in Brighton and Hove last year, The Argus can reveal.

Drugs, alcohol, cancer and suicide were among the causes of the deaths of 43 people who were sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation in the city during 2022.

The identities of the forgotten 43 remain unknown.

Figures show the toll was much worse than the previous year - there were 31 deaths in 2021.

It means Brighton and Hove now has the second-highest death rate among homeless people in the UK, falling only behind Belfast.

 “These figures for Brighton are horrific and are evidence that something is seriously wrong,” said Jessica Turtle, director of the Museum of Homelessness, a support group for the homeless which compiled the figures.

It said each fatality was verified by a Freedom of Information request, coroner's report, charity or family member.

Jessica said: “For Brighton to be seeing a higher death rate than Manchester, Glasgow and London is absolutely appalling.

“We encourage the city council to work closely with campaigners on the ground in Brighton and Hove who have the answers to this crisis. We want to see action taken to stop further loss of life.”

Of the deaths in Brighton and Hove, nine people died due to drugs or alcohol, four from cancer, three from a heart condition, two from an infection, one from an overdose, one from a stroke, and one by suicide.

Causes of death for the remaining people were recorded as “unknown” or “other”.

Jim Deans, a former rough sleeper and now head of Sussex Homeless Support, said that housing people in hostels was contributing to the rise in deaths.

“When people become homeless, they just want to fit in, so if they’re offered drugs they’re going to say yes,” he said.

“Drug dealers will park out the front of the hostels and beep their horn like an ice-cream van for drugs.

“People are also being released from prison straight on to the streets.

“The number of deaths is an absolute outrage and the city council is aware of the problem.”

The Argus provided Brighton and Hove City Council with the findings, which it rejected.

A council spokesman said: “We deeply regret the death of anyone who has found themselves homeless.  

“However, we do not recognise the number of deaths quoted. We do not understand what the figures relate to, or the methods used to collate or verify them. 

“Brighton and Hove does have a housing and homelessness crisis. This is a result of national issues such as an inflated housing market, a lack of affordable housing and increasing wealth inequality.”

READ MORE: Homeless man tells of sleeping rough on Brighton streets

The council said it was doing everything within its power to mitigate the problem, including building new affordable homes and buying back former council homes.

“But demand will always outstrip supply in the city,” the spokesman said.

“Each instance of homelessness can be a tragedy for the individuals involved. We work extremely hard to help people avoid this situation.  

“People who do become homeless are, by definition, already in crisis. The city has a high level of wide-ranging support for them when they are homeless. 

“This includes a significant supply of supported and move-on accommodation for people who have slept rough. We also have a welfare team supporting people in temporary and emergency accommodation, and an outreach service to support people to move away from the streets.”

The city council said it has cut the numbers of people sleeping on the streets by half since 2019, based on its on statistics. 

It asked people threatened with homelessness to contact its housing team for advice.