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Homeless charity sees surge in people seeking help

Video report from ITV Anglia's Sarah Cooper

A homeless charity in Northampton say it has seen a sharp rise in people seeking help.

More than 30,000 people used the Hope Centre last year - 8,000 more than 2012. That's a rise of a quarter in four years.

"Everybody knows that you have to spend a large and larger parcentage of your income on housing and, as a result, you have less money to spend on other things.

People are often very poor, because so much goes on housing and, therefore, the risk, if you lose your job, that you'll be made homeless, or you can't afford to pay your rent and you have to go and live with somebody.

Wages have stagnated, although rents and obviously house prices have not."

– Robin Burgess, General Manager, Hope Centre
The number of people using the Hope Centre has risen by a quarter since 2012. Credit: ITV Anglia

Northampton Borough Council says there are now fewer people sleeping on the streets since the launch of a new strategy earlier this year.

However, councillors admit there's still work to do. There are plans to open a new night shelter in November.