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More than 7,100 people now homeless in Redbridge – increasing 13.6pc since last year

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 November 2018

Homelessness is on the rise in the borough. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Homelessness is on the rise in the borough. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

PA Archive/PA Images

The borough’s homeless population has grown to more than 7,100 people – an increase of 13.6pc in the last year – according to the latest figures.

Data released by charity Shelter on Friday (November 23) shows that additional 857 people are homeless in Redbridge since the November 2017 figure of 6,257.

Of the 7,114 currently homeless, 65 are rough sleepers and the remaining 7,049 are living in temporary accomodation.

However, this figure may soon revised again with Redbridge Council set to carry out its next snapshot rough sleeper count this month.

This means one in 42 people are now homeless in Redbridge, up from one in 48 last year.

The borough also retains its position as the 11th worst local authority in the UK for homelessness.

The data was collected by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Responding to the figures Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “The issue is the lack of funding from national government.
“Ultimately, until the government tackles it, we are always going to struggle. 
He added: “We are coming from a very low housing stock base and, as long as we have got that, this is always going to be an issue.

“However, we are tackling the issue by doing early intervention, increasing our housing base and ensuring our outreach work is forensic in its approach.”

But Cllr Linda Huggett, leader of Conservative group, defended the government’s policies.

She said: “We welcome that the number of households in temporary accommodation is down since its peak under Labour in 2004, and under the Conservatives social housing waiting lists have been cut.

“However there is still much more to do.

“That is why the government has passed the most ambitious homelessness reduction legislation in decades, supported by Shelter, and has committed to eliminating rough sleeping by 2027.

“This allows for a £1.2 billion investment in reducing homelessness, and gives councils a new duty to prevent and relieve homelessness.

“Homelessness is an extremely complex issue but we are determined to help the most vulnerable in our society and to break the homelessness cycle once and for all.”

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Redbridge Together

Redbridge Together, of which the Recorder is a media partner, aims to raise £500,000 for Project Malachi and The Welcome Centre.

Project Malachi will see the creation of a temporary hostel for rough sleepers and homeless people made from recycled shipping containers in Chadwick Road.

Support workers from charity Ramfel will provide rough sleepers living in the hostel with immigration advice who need it.

The Welcome Centre, in St Mary’s Road, helps with providing hot meals, showers, clothing, laundry but also advice and support, training and employment and a nurse led clinic supporting health and mental health.

Businesses can support by donating money, raising funds, displaying Redbridge Together promotional material in businesses or offering work placements.

The campaign is an association an association between Ilford Salvation Army, The Welcome Centre, Ilford BID, the Ilford Recorder and Redbridge Council.

To get involved email: aaron.walawalkar@archant.co.uk

Donate £3 by texting LIFE to 70145 or at Crowdfunder.co.uk/RedbridgeTogether

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