Increase in Island's homeless numbers

By Emily Pearce

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

 

HOMELESSNESS on the Isle of Wight has increased by 16 per cent during the past year.

Figures published by the Isle of Wight Council show the number of households accepted as homeless has risen from 72 in March 2013 to 84 in March 2014.

The figures only include people who have approached the council for housing help.

According to the council report, the main causes of homelessness are eviction by family or friends and the termination of private tenancies.

The number of households in temporary accommodation has increased by five per cent during the same period, from 149 to 157.

Efforts to reduce the number of empty properties, however, have proved successful.

There were 2,571 vacant properties last October, which has been reduced to 1,622.

The council's executive member for community wellbeing, Cllr Steve Stubbings, said: "This figure represents just over two per cent of the Island’s housing stock, which is well under the government target of 3.7 per cent. The council does employ an empty homes officer, who continues to work to reduce the number even further."

Two additional empty homes officers are due to be recruited this summer.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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