Rugby has one of highest levels of homelessness in West Midlands

A rough sleeper
A rough sleeper

Rugby has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the West Midlands, a new report from housing charity Shelter shows.

The charity has described the scale of homelessness across the country as “unforgivable”, saying action needs to be taken ahead of the winter months.

Shelter’s analysis of the most recent data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows that an estimated 319 people in Rugby are homeless.

The vast majority, 313, are in temporary accommodation, which includes those in hostel beds, living in B&Bs or with their own arrangements such as staying for short periods with different friends or family.

The remaining six were recorded as sleeping rough.

It means that one in every 333 people in Rugby are homeless – the third-highest rate in the West Midlands.

Across the West Midlands, one in 246 people are homeless – the second-highest rate of England’s nine regions.

The number of homeless people in the region has risen by 12% since 2017, reflecting the 4% increase across Britain.

An estimated 320,000 people are now homeless in Britain – 12,600 more than last year.

The chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, said: “It’s unforgivable that 320,000 people in Britain have been swept up by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home.

“These new figures show that homelessness is having a devastating impact on the lives of people right across the country.

“Due to the perfect storm of spiralling rents, welfare cuts and a total lack of social housing, record numbers of people are sleeping out on the streets or stuck in the cramped confines of a hostel room.

“We desperately need action now to change tomorrow for the hundreds of thousands whose lives will be blighted by homelessness this winter.”

The Secretary of State for Communities, James Brokenshire, said: “No one should be left without a roof over their head, which is why we are determined to end rough sleeping and respond to the causes of homelessness.

“We are investing more than £1.2 billion to tackle all forms of homelessness and a new law requires councils to support people sooner to help prevent them becoming homeless in the first place.

“Our rough sleeping strategy, support for councils and those working on the front line are helping to get people off the street and into accommodation as we enter the colder winter months.”

He said the Government’s £9 billion Affordable Homes Programme was ensuring that local authorities had the support they needed to build more council homes.

Mr Brokenshire added: “But we know that there is more that we need to do and we’re committed to working with Shelter and others to make a positive difference on this important issue.”