Homeless figures rise in south Lakeland

The number of people in South Lakeland who are claiming they either have nowhere to live or are worried about losing their homes has more than doubled in just 12 months.

Increase in homeless people on the rise

The number of people sleeping rough or living with the threat of homelessness has more than doubled in the south Lakes over the last year.

The local council had to intervene in more than 100 cases last year to save people from ending up on the streets and are now looking at new ways to cope with the growing problem.

Ryan Dollard reports.

Homeless people urged to seek help

Andrea Aldridge, Manna House Credit: ITV News Border

Andres Aldridge works at Manna House, which is a drop-in centre in Kendal aiming to help and advise vulnerable people who are facing homelessness.

She is encouraging people in difficulty to seek the help they need.

She said:

"In the last part of last year Manna House saw an unprecedented number of homeless clients - those who were rough sleeping.

"Although numbers fluctuate, in the first quarter of this year three people are known to us to be literally homeless and without a roof.

"That number, of course, doesn't account for the many more who are 'sofa surfing' and are vulnerably housed. We would encourage people to come to Manna House at the first sign of difficulty.

"We can help sort out budgets and benefits, advise about housing and refer people to services which can really help them.

"Drop in on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday and you will be very welcome. Our staff and volunteers understand how we can all get into difficulties and how we all need help at some point in our lives."

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Homelessness fears for south Lakeland

The number of people in South Lakeland who are claiming they either have nowhere to live or are worried about losing their homes has more than doubled in just 12 months.

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) say that the number of people reporting themselves as homeless has increased from 162 in 2010-2011 to 356 in 2011-2012.

The SLDC is joining forces with Eden District Council to draft a homelessness strategy that will aim to address the issue, which particularly affects young people.

Members of the public can give their views on the consultation until 20th May by visiting the SLDC website.

"The council has successfully prevented homelessness in 122 cases in 2011/12 and is increasing the provision of affordable housing to meet the identified needs.

"A social lettings agency has been established to increase privately rented homes for homeless households enabling people to move more quickly out of temporary accommodation.

"The new strategy demonstrates our commitment to tackle homelessness, recognising that the main way of doing this is by working in partnership with others so that the causes are addressed, not just the symptoms."

– Julie Jackson, SLDC's Senior Housing Strategy Officer