Since 2010 homelessness has increased massively in Reading peaking at a shocking 1033% increase in 2016/2017. Fortunately this has levelled off but the increase from 2010 is still modelled to be nearly 700% this year – see the bottom of this email for homelessness and rough sleeping statistics.
That’s a forecast 285 families and individuals without a roof over their head, in the fear of ending up out in the freezing cold on the street, who have been offered help by the council.
Rough sleeping has also continued to grow in Reading. And it is deeply concerning that the rate of increase is speeding up! Of further concern is the fact that local homelessness charities say that this figure is an underestimate.
That is at least 22 people out on the street in the freezing cold.
If you have walked through Reading town centre at any time recently will have seen people in doorways. Cardboard and blankets laid out. This is desperate and sad.
Unfortunately at a council meeting last year Labour councillors voted to cut the budget for tackling homelessness by £245,000. This is a budget reduction of 17%!
As the Equality Impact Assessment noted when this cut was nodded through by the Labour group, it will impact on the physical health and mental health of people who are homeless and increase substance misuse.
The life expectancy of someone living on the streets is 47 years old. Approximately 30 years lower than average.
Green councillors support more funding for public services such as housing and homelessness. We agree with others who think there are some areas of the council – such as the amount of money spent on agency staff at all levels – where savings could be made by recruiting more permanent staff. http://cllrrobwhite.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/is-reading-council-wasting-money-on.html
We care about Reading and will keep working with you to improve it. Why not join the Green Party and help us make a difference: http://greenparty.org.uk/join
Number of individuals and families classed as homeless by the council by year
Number of individuals and families classed as homeless by the council
Percentage increase since 2010
2017/18 (so far)
2017/18 (forecast end of year)
Number of people sleeping rough in Reading by year
Number of people sleeping rough in Reading