Jersey charities urge government to address homelessness challenges following 'bleak' report

More than 400 people sought shelter in Jersey in 2023. Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey's homelessness situation is "no better than a year ago" and the "outlook remains bleak", a new report has concluded.

The area's Strategic Board, made up of local community groups, says that 406 people asked for shelter from five charities in 2023.

The most common reasons for homelessness were reported as domestic violence, relationship breakdowns, being in unsafe or insecure housing, and eviction.

Four years ago, the Board released its 2020 Homelessness Strategy that called on Jersey's Government to clarify its official definition of homelessness and then collect data against it.

In October 2022, former Housing and Communities Minister Deputy David Warr said that the Government would publish homelessness statistics in March 2023.

However, this data is yet to be released.

The Board's Chair, Simon Burgess, stated: "Without collating this information, the Government will only be second-guessing as to the steps needed to tackle the issues.

"This will prevent the homelessness strategy from being implemented in full."

In January 2024, the newly appointed Housing Minister, Deputy Sam Mézec, said he was committed to implementing all of the recommendations of the homelessness strategy - something the sector says is urgently needed.