'Hundreds' at risk of homelessness in South Tyneside
Hundreds of people in South Tyneside have been assessed as being homeless or threatened with losing the roof over their heads last winter, new figures show.
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures show that, between October and December last year, 141 families or individuals in the borough were identified as homeless by the council – down from 158 the year before.
A further 133 households were eligible for council help as they were at risk of homelessness - down from 153 in 2019.
Housing charity Shelter says there is a clear danger of the problem worsening further when pandemic measures are lifted as the number of people identified nationally as homeless rose slightly.
It says a national decrease in the threat of homelessness came because the Government and local authorities sought to ensure as many people as possible had roofs over their heads during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Local Government Association chairman James Jamieson said: “It is vital we draw on lessons learned during the pandemic and ensure this is not just a one-off emergency response.”
Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate said: “The economic impact of the pandemic has exposed the true cost of decades of failure to build the social homes we need.”
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesman said the figures showed their actions had helped to protect renters, rough sleepers and other vulnerable people from the impact of the pandemic.
He added: “There is more still to do, and we will continue to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping with over £750 million funding this year alone.”