More cheap private rented accommodation is needed, says community leader

Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich

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MORE affordable rented accommodation would go some way to tackling the problem, said a community leader.

Ruth Scott runs the Beacon Centre in Havant, which helps to hold a drop-in session for homeless people on Friday mornings.

She agreed that homelessness had gone up from five years ago.

She said: ‘Everyone’s personal story is different.

‘There are going to be multiple reasons.

‘But I think the main reason is that to be classed as homeless according the council’s priorities is so high that most people don’t qualify for council housing.

‘They then have to go for private rented accommodation.

‘What’s definitely happened is there are hardly any private landlords who will take on people on housing benefit, never mind with a history of homelessness.

‘We need more affordable housing and we need landlords to be able to take people.’

She said that churches had always helped the homeless and people sleeping rough on the streets.

‘We are a Christian church and see it as part of our role to help those in need in our community,’ said Mrs Scott.

‘But we prefer to do it in a quiet and modest way, showing respect to all who come to us for help.’