Sunday, 12 May 2013

Homelessness in Maidstone

It is very clear that 'official' homelessness statistic are pretty flawed but they probably do tell a bit of a story. The story in Maidstone is that we have a problem, that the problem is growing, that Maidstone has the second highest level of homelessness in Kent and that the local council is failing people.

The Kent Messenger is reporting again about the numbers of people living in tents in and around town, this time in a local cemetery but we know that Cuckoo Woods also has an encampment. The council's response: to start thinking about a new housing strategy that reduces the number of affordable homes being built and increases the number of executive homes.

We need a council that is prepared to meet the homelessness challenge head on. That means:
  • identifying places of safety for people
  • focusing on new homes on those in need
  • providing support for those who are suffering under the benefits decimation of the Lib Dems and Tories
  • helping people into work
  • not evicting people who can't afford the bedroom tax
Time for the council to wake up and help people.

This is how badly Maidstone is doing on homelessness. The figures are the 'official' figures per 1000 homes - clearly the real figure is much higher:

Ashford 0.84
Maidstone 0.69
Medway UA 0.60
Thanet 0.52
Dartford 0.51
Gravesham 0.43
Dover 0.35
Canterbury 0.31
Swale 0.29
Shepway 0.26
Tunbridge Wells 0.21
Sevenoaks 0.21
Tonbridge and Malling 0.16

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