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Homelessness shows big increase
3:00pm Friday 10th August 2012 in News
HOMELESSNESS in Thurrock has surged by more than 153 per cent in the last three years.
Thurrock listed 71 households as priority homeless in between April 2009 and March 2010, rising to 107 the next year, and 180 in April 2011 to March 2012.
By comparison, homelessness in neighbouring Basildon, which has a population of 174,500, compared to Thurrock’s 157,700, has risen by 33.5 per cent in the last five years, with 255 people now homeless.
Labour parliamentary candidate Polly Billington said: “These are very worrying figures, but I’m afraid they’re not a surprise.
“This is what happens in a recession, with rising living costs and a Government cutting back on building affordable homes.”
Tory councillor Rob Gledhill said Thurrock Council should allocate its empty properties sooner.
He said: “The sensational headlines using percentage figures and the term ‘homeless’ is another example of talking Thurrock down. “It does not mean hundreds of families sleeping rough on Thurrock streets. Perhaps if this had been better managed the figures wouldn’t be so high.”
A Thurrock Council spokesman said: “We continue to see an increase in the number of households approaching the council for help. This is an increasing trend nationally and in areas bordering London.
“We continue to seek to prevent tenancies failing and work with private landlords to find alternative private rented accommodation.”