More than 100 local councils could sign a joint letter to the government over “critical and unsustainable” finances.

Councils across the country are being put under pressure by the rise of “unprecedented” numbers of people facing homelessness and needing temporary accommodation.

Eastbourne Borough Council and the District Councils’ Network will lead an emergency homelessness summit on October 31 and more than 100 councils are expected to sign the joint letter.

The council said the pressure it is facing threatens services such as leisure centres, food banks and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Councillor Stephen Holt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “Putting all politics aside, there is no doubt that the cost-of-living crisis and inflation have exacerbated the recent and rapid increases in homelessness, alongside inflated temporary accommodation costs. 

“While I know that this situation is experienced severely in coastal areas, I also know that this problem is shared by almost all councils in the UK. 

“In Eastbourne we have always prioritised frontline services, but there is no doubt that the extraordinary pressure on budgets does threaten other non-statutory services.

“It is my firm belief that we must collaborate and present a unified case to government to achieve a sustainable way forward.”

In Sussex, Brighton and Hove City Council is facing a £25 million budget black hole for the financial year 2024/25.

It is planning to make savings of more than £14 million in an effort to plug the gap.

Hastings Borough Council could be bankrupt by March next year and was considering selling off four pieces of land to raise £3 million.

Worthing Borough Council hit back at claims in August that it was at risk of bankruptcy.

The council is holding the summit ahead of the government's autumn statement in November.

The summit will aim to make the following urgent requests to the government:

  • Suspend the housing benefit subsidy cap for local authority homelessness placements 
  • Urgently review local housing allowance rates for private rented accommodation 
  • Develop policy to stimulate retention and supply in the privately rented sector 
  • Give district councils the powers, funding, and resources needed to increase the supply of social housing
  • Increase the level of discretionary housing payment and homelessness prevention grant