Jersey homelessness charity calls for urgent action on housing crisis

  • Report by ITV Channel's Alex Spiceley

A Jersey homelessness charity says the lack of affordable housing in the island is the worst it has ever been and something needs to be done now.

Neville Benbow from the Shelter Trust says some islanders are now asking for help with housing, despite having full-time jobs.

He explained: "We're now facing more and more people who cannot afford the basic cost of living or surviving in Jersey and so they're turning to us.

"They're turning to other providers of food. Food banks are really suffering at the moment because people are saying 'I can't afford to live' and if their accommodation is of a poor standard and a very high cost, what hope is there?"

Since Jersey's current politicians were voted in four years ago, the average price of a one-bed flat has risen from £248,000 in 2018 to £339,000 last year, an increase of £91,000. Neville says a solution is needed now.

He added: "The election is just over a week away but it'll be another month before we get a Council of Ministers and then they'll probably want a well-earned break in the summer before they actually do anything, it's too late to wait that long.

"You've got to act now and you've got to act decisively and think about the people of Jersey who need you in this moment."

While property prices have gone up so too has the amount people who are paying to rent.

Lyn Wilton has rented the same house for 11 years but now the owners are selling.

Lyn says despite looking every day for the past six months, she is now one of the many people considering leaving the island because they cannot find anywhere affordable to live.

She explained: "So a basic rental now for one or two bedrooms is going to be 12 to 15 hundred pounds, that's almost half of my net income in rent.

"I shouldn't have to be paying half my income on rent. I just don't know what else I can do."