WYCHAVON has ranked 19th in the West Midlands for the highest rates of recorded homelessness, new figures reveal.
As part of a study by housing and homelessness charity Shelter, almost 21,000 people in the West Midlands are homeless today, with the figure at one in 1,782 across the district.
In the most extensive review of its kind, the charity combined official rough-sleeping, temporary accommodation and social services figures, which showed the number of homeless people in the West Midlands has increased by 22 per cent in a year.
However, as government records are not definitive, the true figure of homelessness is likely to be even higher.
With a population of 122,943, the number of people living in temporary accommodation in the district is at 67.
As well as this, two people are sleeping rough according to the figures.
To identify where the problem is most acute in the West Midlands, the charity mapped the top 20 hotspots in the region with the highest levels of homelessness.
Birmingham topped the list where one in every 88 people are homeless, this was followed by Coventry with one in 229 and Solihull with one in 314.
Shelter is calling on the public to support its frontline advisers as they work to help people to stay in their home or find a new one.
Shelter Birmingham Hub manager, Vicky Hines, said: “On a daily basis, we speak to people and families who are desperately trying to escape the devastating trap of homelessness.
“Some will have spent the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed into a dingy, hostel room with their children.
“And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for.
“A trap that is tightening thanks to decades of failure to build enough affordable homes and the impact of welfare cuts.
“We will do all we can to make sure no-one is left to fight homelessness on their own.”
Coun Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Housing spokesman, said: “Every individual instance of homelessness is a tragedy. Councils are doing all they can to help homeless people in their communities and prevent homelessness happening in the first place.
“Homelessness is spreading across the whole country and causing a huge challenge for councils, which are having to house the equivalent of an extra secondary school’s worth of homeless children in temporary accommodation every month.
“The net cost for councils of funding temporary accommodation has tripled in the last three years, which is disruptive for families and unsustainable for councils.”
To support Shelter’s urgent appeal please visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70080 to donate £3.