Homeless issues are highlighted in Melton

Merlton Rotary Business Support Group mentors EMN-161122-170159001
Merlton Rotary Business Support Group mentors EMN-161122-170159001

The rate people become homeless in Melton is the third highest in English districts, a new report shows.

The surprise figures were revealed in the latest annual Melton District Health Profile, which is compiled by Public Health England.

The findings, which relate to statutory homelessness where a local authority has a responsibility to find accommodation for an individual, shows the borough’s rate to be significantly worse than the national average.

Out of 114 enquiries this year, between April and November, from people declaring they had nowhere to live, 36 were declared homeless.

That compares with 34 homeless people being identified last year from the same number of enquiries.

Members of Melton Council’s community and social affairs committee discussed the report at their latest meeting and decided to see how they couldbring down the homeless rate.

Chairman Alan Pearson told the Melton Times: “The situation is not as bad as the report would suggest because these tables are based on pro rata figures.

“We are only talking about a small number of people compared to the population of the borough.”

But he added: “Homelessness is an issue in Melton, though, and we are targeting it to improve the situation.

“We are already doing a lot to help prevent people becoming homeless and we will report back at the next meeting to see what more can be done.”

The council is housing 23 of the 36 registered homeless people in Melton in temporary accommodation, while the others have found somewhere to live.

Harry Rai, the authority’s head of communities and neighbourhoods, said: “The majority of people who come to us do so because their current accommodation, with family or friends, is no longer available.

“The new Local Plan will help if we get the new houses we need because we are not building enough.”

Mr Rai said the borough’s Me and My Learning service was already doing good work to help support homeless Melton people and teach them skills which will enable them to live independent lives.

Preventing homelessness remained a key target for the council, he added.