Data from the Office for National Statistics has shown that Brighton & Hove is among the top ten local authority areas for homelessness deaths between 2013 – 2017.
The ONS has stated that there were 48 homelessness deaths in Brighton & Hove throughout the period, with 11 deaths occurring in 2017 alone.
Victoria Moffett, External Affairs Manager at the National Housing Federation, said of the findings: “These figures should be a real wake-up call. It isn’t acceptable that 11 people died on the streets of Brighton in 2017.”
These numbers place Brighton & Hove City Council on par with local authorities such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne (46), Leeds (49) and Bristol (52). Topping the list for the worst affected are Birmingham and Camden, with the ONS reporting that these authorities have experienced 90 and 89 deaths respectively.
Ben Humberstone, head of Health and Life Events at the ONS, said: “Today’s findings show a real contrast between areas in terms of where homeless people are dying. Every one of these deaths is a real human tragedy and understanding where these deaths occur is particularly poignant.
“While the worst affected areas change from one year to the next, the figures show that the deprivation level of an area has a real impact. Many more people die homeless in the most deprived areas of England and Wales and 95 per cent of the deaths are in urban areas rather than rural areas.”
The Government have recently announced further funding to enable rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove to secure their own tenancy.
The announcement made in early March is part of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy, which is set to see Brighton & Hove City Council receive over £700,000 to support both tenants and landlords, the Brighton and Hove Independent reports.
The money can be used by local authorities to help rough sleepers pay their property deposit or to pay off the first month’s rent.
The Government has expressed hope that this will assist vulnerable people in accessing homes they otherwise would not be able to.
Heather Wheeler, Minister for Housing and Homelessness, said of the announcement: “Everyone deserves to have a home to call their own. Yet often, vulnerable people on the brink of becoming homeless will struggle to fund the money to get the safe and secure home they need to get back on their feet.
“This money will make a huge difference in opening up the private rented sector to people who need it in the South East and give them the chance to rebuild their lives.”
Brighton & Hove City Council have been approached for comment.