'No hope' in tackling homelessness in Nottingham this side of election, warns charity boss

The boss of a homelessness support charity in Nottingham says it is ‘very, very hard to see the situation changing’ without drastic action from Government as the number of people needing housing passes crisis point.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Despite Nottingham Council increasing its temporary accommodation for homeless families from 88 to 441 units, all of this housing is currently full.

This means the council now has no choice but to put people up in hotels and B&Bs, which is currently costing £22,000 every night for 169 people and families.

The number of people sleeping rough on the city’s streets has also risen by more than 40 per cent, and more than 10,000 people are waiting for a council house.

The charity Framework fears there is no hope of the Government tackling Nottingham's homelessness any time soon. Photo: Getty ImagesThe charity Framework fears there is no hope of the Government tackling Nottingham's homelessness any time soon. Photo: Getty Images
The charity Framework fears there is no hope of the Government tackling Nottingham's homelessness any time soon. Photo: Getty Images

Andrew Redfern, the chief executive of support charity Framework, says without policy change, housebuilding and more funding from central Government, he cannot see the situation changing.

He said: “If you want to get rid of homelessness and rough sleeping you have got to have a joined up policy that addresses all the issues including the housing issues, the support issues, the employment issues, the benefit issues.

“The Government at the moment pretends to have a strategy but truthfully it has not got one at all.

“I just get the sense it is a very long way down their priority list and they are going to try and do whatever they can to try and turn the political situation around between now and the election.

“I don’t see much hope this side of an election.

"For the moment, it is very, very hard to see things changing.”

Read More
Engineering works to affect Hucknall and Bulwell tram services this month

Mr Redfern says Framework has been noticing a few new groups of rough sleepers, including those who have been evicted from private rented accommodation due to not being able to afford rent, or to landlords selling up.

There is also the emerging risk of asylum seekers and refugees becoming homeless amid changes in Home Office policy.

In July the Government department changed its policy in how long it houses refugees and survivors of trafficking.

Once ‘leave to remain’ is granted and they have permission to stay in the UK for a period of time, they had 28 days to find alternative housing.

This has now been reduced to just seven days because the Government is trying to work through a backlog of cases.

If there are families or they have vulnerabilities the council has a duty to rehouse them, which adds further pressure to services and budgets.

Mr Redfern continued: “When somebody gets leave to remain they get seven days notice and then they get kicked out of their home office accommodation and they are pretty much on their own, and quite a lot of these people are then appearing on the streets.”

Both Framework and homelessness charity Emmanuel House say the situation is ‘hard work’

Mr Redfern said: “It does make the job of staff harder and it makes it harder to motivate them.

“We are having to keep on saying ‘just keep trying, don’t give up’, because what else can you do?”

Denis Tully, chief executive of Emmanuel House, added: “More people are presenting and with complex needs.

“We continue to provide the services we have provided in the past.”

The Home Office and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has been contacted for comment.

Related topics: