Shropshire Star

Hundreds homeless on any one night as charity calls for more social housing

Hundreds of people were homeless in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin on any given night in 2022, a charity has said.

Homeless problem

Shelter says figures estimate 558 people were homeless in Shropshire on any given night in 2022 – including 147 children. Around 531 were in temporary accommodation, while 21 were estimated to be sleeping rough.

The figure for Telford and Wrekin were 167 people homeless, including 92 children, and all in temporary accommodation. It says more social housing is needed.

Shropshire Councillor Andy Boddington said the figures came as no surprise.

"Shropshire does not have enough affordable housingm we are not building enough new affordable homes. In the last ten years only nine per cent of homes built in Shropshire have been affordable. That’s shocking.

"Many dream of owning their own home, the reality is most houses are unaffordable. Renting is the only option but private rents are going through the roof."

Councillor Boddington said he was aware of around 20 people in the Ludlow area who are about to become homeless.

"Their circumstances are very different. They are living in unfit properties or suffering relationship breakdowns or abuse. Some are unable to pay increases in rent or mortgages. Others are being evicted because their landlord thinks there will be more income from the property as a holiday let or Air B&B. The common factor is that there is a lack of suitable housing for them to move into. We must build more affordable housing quickly."

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said the charity was expecting a rise in homelessness in 2023.

“A cold doorway or a grotty hostel room is not a home, but this is reality for too many people today,” she said.

“Our frontline advisers are working tirelessly to help people who are desperate to escape homelessness – from the parents doing all they can to provide some shred of a normal family life while stuck in an emergency B&B, to the person terrified of another night sleeping rough.

“With private rents and living costs continuing to soar, thousands of people are not just facing a winter of worry, they are at risk of losing the roof over their head,” she added.

The estimates suggest around 2,400 people were sleeping rough across England, with a further 15,000 people in hostels or supported accommodation.

Nearly 250,000 people – mainly families – were living in temporary accommodation.

Despite a slight drop in the number of people in temporary accommodation compared to the year before, the use of temporary accommodation has risen by an alarming 74 per cent over the last decade, Shelter said.

The charity said this was due to a chronic shortage of social homes.

A Government spokeswoman said it had given £366 million to local authorities this year to help prevent evictions and provide temporary housing.