Eastbourne now has more homeless people than Hastings

A homeless person sleeping outside Eastbourne Citizens Advice
A homeless person sleeping outside Eastbourne Citizens Advice

Eastbourne has more homeless people than Hastings, according to new figures revealed by Shelter today (November 22).

The housing charity says the new analysis ‘lays bare the true scale of the region’s worsening housing crisis’, as the overall number of homeless people in the south east increased by 1,000.

A table of the top 20 rates of people who are homeless in the South East

A table of the top 20 rates of people who are homeless in the South East

What it’s like to be a homeless person living in Eastbourne

According to the report, Eastbourne has 386 people officially homeless, while Hastings has 331.

It says 41 people are reported sleeping rough on our streets, compared to 40 in Hastings.

Meanwhile the numbers of people in temporary accomondation in Eastbourne is 345 – in Hastings there are 291.

Our town is 13th in the whole south east for its number of homeless people, and second in Sussex.

However Eastbourne still has fewer people without a home than nearby Brighton and Hove – which topped the list. The report says the city has 4,317 homeless people, with 178 of those sleeping rough.

Homelessness in Eastbourne quadruples in two years

This comes as Shelter launches an urgent appeal calling on the public to support its frontline advisers as they work to help the growing number of people trying to find or keep their home.

In its annual landmark review, the housing charity combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation and social services figures. As these records are not definitive, the true extent of homelessness is likely even greater.

Overall, almost 320,000 people in Britain are now homeless – an increase of 13,000 people since last year.

Shelter’s report ‘Homelessness in Great Britain: the numbers behind the story’ warns this is due to a combination of unaffordable rents, frozen housing benefits and a severe shortage of social housing.

Call for hostel for homeless people in Eastbourne

Ben Tovey, Shelter services manager for the south east, said, “It’s unforgivable that thousands of people in the South East have been swept up by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home.

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

“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.

“Shelter’s services have never been more needed. That’s why we’re asking the public to support us this winter so that we can answer as many calls as possible and have trained advisers on hand when people need them most.”

To support Shelter’s urgent appeal please visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70020 to donate £3.

Related: This Eastbourne woman is hosting a pamper day for homeless people in town

Cuts and Universal Credit behind rise in Eastbourne homelessness, says council