Live updates

Homelessness at 'frightening' levels according to Kent charity

The boss of a Kent charity says homelessness levels in the county have reached 'frightening levels' as people struggle to afford housing.

Figures show a steep rise in rough sleepers in the last year alone.

In Kent, in the year to March 2016, 509 people were classed as homeless. 78 of them were under 25.

The following year that had risen to 707 a rise of 38% - with 134 of them under 25.

A new report says the problem of homelessness is particularly bad in rural areas.

Sarah Saunders spoke to former homeless man Alan, Mike Barrett of the charity Porchlight and homeless people at the Catching Lives centre in Canterbury and Charlotte Snelling of the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Advertisement

Barton Farm reaction: The developer - CALA Homes

Reaction continues to the news that the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has given approval to the development of 2,000 new homes at Barton Farm, Winchester.

The CALA Group says that in its plans 40% (800) of the properties will be affordable housing, with supporting infrastructure and associated community facilities to help meet the city's housing needs.

** “We welcome the appeal decision and now look forward to continuing to work positively with the Council and local community to deliver a high quality development. **

“Coming so soon on the back of stimulus packages designed to support the construction industry, we feel this decision provides a major boost to the entire housebuilding sector and reaffirms the Coalition's stance on the role the housebuilding industry can play in supporting a wider economic recovery.

“Local people will benefit greatly from this decision. It will be a major contributor to stimulating the local economy and creating long term jobs. Furthermore, it will make a significant contribution to the chronic shortage of affordable housing enabling key workers and other local people to live in their own City. We will shortly be examining the detailed design for each of the phases in line with our masterplan to ensure that much needed housing is delivered as soon as possible.”

– Robert Millar, Group Land Director of CALA