Rise in homeless problem is 'scandalous' says MP

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has called the districts growing homelessness problem a scandal.
Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has called the districts growing homelessness problem a scandal.

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has called the district’s growing homelessness problem a “scandal” after figures revealed a rise of nearly 400 per cent since 2010.

Figures from the House of Commons Library show 25 residents were accepted as being homeless in 2010/11 has risen to 123 residents in the latest figures from 2017/18. The residents declared they were homeless after making applications to Ashfield District Council.

Ms De Piero, Labour MP for Ashfield, said: “The rise in homelessness in Ashfield district in the last few years is staggering.

"The worrying thing is these figures do not even cover people who have no home and are sofa surfing or staying in a car or tent.

“The real extent of the homelessness problem in this area is likely to be even worse than the statistics suggest.”

The figures from the Commons Library also reveal that 22 households in Ashfield were living in temporary accommodation at the end of 2017/18, compared to just four in 2010/11 – a rise of 450 per cent.

Meanwhile the number of rough sleepers in the district was counted at five during a one-night snapshot in 2018, compared to just one in 2010. This number peaked at 12 in 2013.

Councillor Kier Barsby, Ashfield District Council Cabinet Member for Housing said “Ashfield, like most local authorities in England, has experienced an increase in homelessness in recent years. The council is committed to ensuring that residents who are homeless or threatened with homelessness receive the advice and assistance to find a solution to their needs.

“Austerity measures introduced by the government have seen this number slowly increase over the past nine years. We remain dedicated to helping those who find themselves homeless, but also preventing residents from finding themselves in that situation.

“We have recently published a Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy, which sets out our aims for the future of the service and how we intend to achieve these. This builds upon service improvements that have been introduced since the implementation of the Homelessness Act in April 2018. The council has also recently been successful in bidding with county colleagues for extra homelessness funding that will help develop a range of housing options for those in need. It will also focus on providing intensive support to the small number of residents who are rough sleeping.”