Tuesday, 14 June 2011

92% rise in homelessness in H&F

The Guardian has revealed that our borough has experienced one of the largest national rises in people applying for help due to being homelesss. And this is before the cuts agreed at this meeting, which includes cuts to services aimed at assisting homeless people, have even had a chance to bite.

Our council doesn't have the best record on homeless services as it is - they were forced to pay compensation after denying assistance to a homelesss pregnant woman who had been the victim of domestic violence after being referred to the Ombudsman by local homeless charity Threshold Housing Advice. The council have since withdrawn all funding from Threshold Housing Advice.The pregnant woman was forced to sleep on a bench and wash in McDonalds.

So it's increasingly being left to voluntary services like the Open Cinema group in Shepherd's Bush to do what they can. I actually started this blog in November 2008 after coming across a homeless man passed out next to the library building on Uxbridge Road.

Sadly victims like him look set to grow in number, it seems. 

Welcome to recession Britain.

1100 WEDNESDAY UPDATE: An H&F Council spokesman has been in touch to say: 
"The figure for this three month period is deeply misleading; the number of homeless decisions taken for the whole year 2010-11 is actually down 9%.

"Homelessness has consistently fallen in the borough over the last four years. The number of applications we received in 2010-11 is down more than 60% since 2007-08. This is due to the council’s highly-regarded intervention work to support people before they fall into homelessness.

"The increase in the final quarter of 2010-11 is the result of an effort by staff to clear all applications before the end of the financial year in April.

"The number of people presenting themselves to the council as homeless is also down by 3.5% year on year. These facts clearly demonstrate there is no major increase in homelessness in the borough."

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