830 empty properties in Bournemouth – yet people are still living on the streets.
A recent Freedom of Information request has revealed that there are over 830 unoccupied properties in Bournemouth, despite homelessness rising to over 200% in the past few years.
Appearing that there is still a huge issue to be solved in the town, the increase in the number of rough sleepers has amounted to approximately 47 homeless last year in 2015 – and numbers still seem to be rising.
Bournemouth Borough Council offers an estimate of 200 hostel bed spaces for the homeless, but this fails to meet a fixed term solution as this doesn’t offer a permanent residence.
A 31-year-old woman who has been rough sleeping in Bournemouth for 6 years now, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that she is nowhere closer to getting off the streets than she was years ago when she was made homeless by her boyfriend.
“If there was any other way than begging then I wouldn’t be doing this” she said. “The council need to stop prioritising the wrong people and help those who really need it.”
She later added that there are ‘innocent, hard-working people living like rats’ that all need homes in Bournemouth, especially in this time of year when it gets harder to cope in their situations due to the extreme weather conditions.
Bournemouth Borough Council have revealed a new Empty Homes Strategy in order to make use of all the empty homes, costing £1 million.
It is yet unknown whether this project will benefit the homeless in Bournemouth.