The number of rough sleepers in Buckinghamshire has risen in recent months - as pressure continues on housing services in the county. Buckinghamshire Council said there has been a ‘significant upturn’ in the number of rough sleepers in the county since winter.
A report to the council says this rise was ‘anticipated’ - with factors including winter and the end of Covid accommodation arrangements both being factors. It added that the situation remains ‘fluid’.
The report said: “The number of verified rough sleepers rose from 25 at the end of May 2022 to 45 at the end of June 2022. Subsequently, significant efforts from statutory and voluntary agencies working with rough sleepers helped to reduce this number to 16 at the end of July 2022.
“The situation remains fluid and we continue to see a significant proportion of rough sleeping clients who have high, multiple and complex needs which makes it very difficult for the Council or its partners to secure safe and appropriate accommodation for them. The Council continues working with its partners in the statutory and voluntary sectors (including the Council-funded Rough Sleeper Outreach service operated by Connection Support) to engage with rough sleepers and, where possible, move them off the streets and into accommodation.”
The latest figures come as the council continues to face ‘pressure’ on the housing service. The number of homeless households in temporary accommodation remains above pre-pandemic levels.
The report added: “The overall demand for homelessness advice and support from the Council remains high with applications continuing to exceed pre-pandemic levels. June and July 2022 saw approximately 400 homelessness applications per month (compared to a pre-pandemic average of 322 in a typical month).”
“At the end of July, the Council had 355 homeless households placed in temporary accommodation (this compares to an average number of 225 pre-pandemic). We anticipate that these high levels of demand will continue, due to factors including cost of living pressures on households and the limited affordable housing options in Buckinghamshire. In addition, some private landlords are choosing to end tenancies or leave the market following the impact of the pandemic.”
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