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UK’s Solution to Homelessness: Open Empty Buildings

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Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões,
CC BY 2.0

by Michaela Whitton, Anti Media

Lack of social housing, cuts to welfare, and extortionate private rents continue to push UK homelessness out of control to a scale that is impossible to quantify. While rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness, it remains the most difficult to measure with local authorities no longer required to carry out counts of rough sleepers.

That said, one only has to stroll around any major British city to see the extent of the problem, and in the coastal city of Brighton & Hove, three rough sleepers died over the festive period alone.

According to homeless charity Shelter, the number of rough sleepers has trebled in eight years. In contrast, a 2015 report by Empty Homes — a charity campaigning for vacant homes to be made available for those who need housing — revealed over 200,000 long-term vacant dwellings (homes unoccupied for over six months) in England and over 600,000 total empty homes.

However all’s not lost and behind the scenes, work is underway to make the most of the scandalous number of empty properties in the UK. Attempting to meet the dire need for housing, 103 local campaigns have been initiated to plead with local councils to open up empty buildings for homeless people this winter.

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© 2016 The Anti Media

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