Charity report reveals one in 463 Rugbeians are homeless - The Rugby Observer

Charity report reveals one in 463 Rugbeians are homeless

Andy Morris 8th Nov, 2017   0

THE PROPORTION of homeless people in Rugby is the fifth-highest in the West Midlands, according to a new report from Shelter.

The charity revealed one in 463 Rugbeians are homeless in the most extensive review of its kind.

A total of 224 homeless people were recorded in the borough – the highest number in Warwickshire.

Numbers have increased by nearly 124 per cent from just over 100 in 2013.

Rev Dr Michael Bochenski – the chair of Hope4, which runs the town’s homeless shelters – said homelessness in Rugby was a growing issue.

He said: “In the past few months we’ve had over 50 new referrals at the Hope Centre.

“There’s a range of issues including relationship breakdown, the finances of trying to get rent or a deposit together, addiction – and we do have particular problems with Universal Credit at the moment which is exacerbating things.

“It’s good to have the full extent of the growing problem exposed in this way. There is a tendency to want to lower the figures or massage them, but I think Shelter have got it exactly right.”

Coun Jerry Roodhouse, chair of Rugby Borough Council’s Homelessness Scrutiny Sub-Group, said more could and should be done to tackle the problem.

He said: “Rugby is a growing town. Rent levels in Rugby are getting higher because we’re virtually at full employment, and landlords don’t want people in on housing benefit or people waiting six weeks for Universal Credit payments.

“People simply can’t afford to live in Rugby.”

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey said it was vitally important to help the most vulnerable in society get their lives back on track.

He said: “The Government is spending over £550million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in England by 2020.

“I am also proud that the Government supported the Homelessness Reduction Act, which will provide vital support for many more people and aims to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027.”

Last month, The Observer reported Rugby was to receive £56,341 from the Government over the next three years as part of the Act.

But it was described as a ‘sticking plaster’ and a ‘drop in the ocean’ by councillors on the Homelessness Scrutiny Sub-Group.

Hope4 will give a talk about the charity’s work on Thursday November 16 from 7:30pm at the Raglan Arms on Dunchurch Road.

The charity is urgently asking for donations of sleeping bags, tents, rucksacks, sleeping mats and camp beds. Donations can be taken to the Hope Centre on Newbold Road during opening hours or by calling 01788 572456 to arrange collection.

Shelter has launched an urgent appeal, calling on the public to support its frontline advisers. Visit or text SHELTER to 70080 to donate £3.


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