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East Lancashire families facing fear of homelessness
5:00pm Wednesday 1st August 2012 in News
THE number of homeless people and families requiring emergency housing in Burnley and Pendle has rocketed in the past three years but fallen in Blackburn with Darwen, new figures have revealed.
Housing experts say the current economic climate has led to the increase in parts of East Lancashire while Blackburn with Darwen said its success was down to early intervention.
Local government information analysis organisation SSentif has revealed that across England the figures for vulnerable groups legally classed as in need of immediate accommodation rose by a quarter from 40,020 in 2009/10 to 50,290 in 2011/12.
Burnley saw a rise over the three years from 45 to 84, Pendle 21 to 33, Chorley 34 to 37 and five to 12 in Ribble Valley.
Hyndburn’s figure for the vulnerable groups, which include 16 and 17-years-olds, households with dependent children, pregnant women, victims of domestic and other violence or flooding or vulnerable individuals coming out of council care, stayed static at just six.
Blackburn with Darwen saw a drop from 41 to 27 while Rossendale decreased from 30 to 22.
While the figures for the most vulnerable homeless councils are legally obliged to house are the only ones local authorities are required to collect, several East Lancashire boroughs reported growing numbers of people and families asking for accommodation.
In Blackburn with Darwen the number of households presenting for accommodation because of problems with rent, tenancies or domestic issues leading to fear of becoming homeless rose from 862 in 2009/10 to 1,047 in 2011/12 when borough action prevented 526 from losing their roof over the heads.
Housing Director Sayeed Osman said: “This shows the effectiveness of our homelessness prevention strategy which focusses on taking early action to prevent the need to formally accept somebody as homeless.”
In Burnley the number of people the council registered as homeless was 244 in 2101/11 rising to 368 in 21001/12.
The borough’s executive member for housing Howard Baker said: “The predictions are that the number of homeless people is going to rise over the coming years and we have to be prepared for dealing with that increase in demand for help.”
In Pendle, where homeless enquiries rose from 103 in 2009/10 to 201 in 2011/12, Wayne Forrest, Housing Needs Manager, said: “Whilst there does not appear to be a specific reason for this rise, the prolonged economic difficulties appear to be a major contributing factor. The Council prioritises homelessness prevention work.
In Rossendale the number of people asking for council help for new homes has gone up from 86 a month in 2010/2011 to 125 a month in 2011/12.
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