More homeless people in city

Coun Harry Harpham
Coun Harry Harpham
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THE number of people declared homeless in Sheffield has risen 38 per cent in a year.

Sheffield Council said 273 people were accepted as homeless in the first three months of 2011, compared with 198 in the same period during 2010.

The figures, branded ‘very alarming’ by council bosses, include households accepted by the local authority as being homeless and in priority need.

But they do not include rough sleepers, people living in B&B accommodation, people residing in refuges and night shelters, those in short term arrangements with friends and family, or squatters.

The figures have been released as the council prepares to mark World Homelessness Day.

Sheffield Council said it is taking action to help reduce the number of homeless people by helping increase the amount of housing available.

The latest initiative is persuading private landlords to take on more social housing tenants.

Sheffield Council cabinet member for housing Coun Harry Harpham said the rise was alarming.

He said: “It’s vital that we as a council do all that we can to protect people who are homeless.

“I personally am 100 per cent committed to working with our partners and other organisations in the city to help prevent and tackle homelessness in Sheffield.

“We are very concerned about the potential impact that Government cuts will have on the services that are available to support people facing homelessness,

“I hope that the Government will recognise how serious this situation is and take action to mitigate the impact.

“The figures showing a 38 per cent increase in homelessness in Sheffield in the past year are very alarming, that is why it is vital we work with schemes such as the Cathedral Archer Project which provide important services giving homeless people somewhere to go when they have nowhere else.”