Search

Editor’s comment: 80 households in hostels is unacceptable

PUBLISHED: 11:04 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:04 24 July 2017

Sharon Ashworth in her room at Abercrombie House hostel in Havering, Picture: EMMA YOULE

Sharon Ashworth in her room at Abercrombie House hostel in Havering, Picture: EMMA YOULE

Archant

A shocking 738 households in Havering are living in temporary accommodation. Eight of those are in hostels.

This week the Recorder has a launched a three-week series of features looking at the plight of the borough’s hidden homeless.

Those sleeping rough are easily identified. We see them every day in Romford town centre.

But life is little better for those living five or six to a room in a hostel for months on end.

Sharon Ashworth has lived in Havering all her life. But since March 1 she has been living in one room with her three daughters. She has been told she is not a priority case and is unlikely to be allocated a home any time soon.

On average people stay in hostels for 26 weeks, and in temporary accommodation for six years.

The council does what it can to improve conditions in the hostels but it is far from an ideal situation. In the past five years it has had to spend £3m on temporary accommodation.

And there are many reasons for people becoming homeless. Emma-Clare O’Sullivan and Kathleen Coughlan – who have nine children between them – lost their rented homes when the landlords asked for their properties back.

With three-bedroom houses renting for up to £1,500 a month, they cannot afford anywhere else to live. And, they say, even if they could, landlords will not accept tenants on housing benefit.

Under the Right to Buy scheme, 4,000 Havering council homes were sold. If they hadn’t been, the borough wouldn’t have anyone in temporary accommodation.

The answer surely now has to be for the government to provide funding so that councils can build council houses.

The so-called “affordable” homes being created in private developments are not really affordable for the majority of people. And private rents are soaring beyond most people’s pockets.

And families are being left in unacceptable conditions with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Latest Romford Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

London Raiders goalie Michael Gray praised their opponents Basingstoke Bison but believes they should have got something from the match.

Yesterday, 15:45

The Bostik North leaders confirmed the news regarding their long-serving boss in a statement released earlier this afternoon

Yesterday, 15:00

Levett Essex Leopards coach Thomas Baker is looking for his team to finish the season strongly ahead of their trip to Ipswich on Saturday.

Yesterday, 17:15

The five workers walked 13 miles in full protective kit, and have raised thousands of pounds for Isla Caton who has stage four neuroblastoma.

Yesterday, 16:00

Pensioners suffered at the hand of thieves yesterday as two burglaries were committed just a few miles apart.

Yesterday, 14:00

Former Celebrity Big Brother and Ex on the Beach star Jordan Davies is set to appear at a club night in Romford.

Yesterday, 13:54

A popular bar in the heart of Romford has closed but a new restaurant will be opening in its place.

Yesterday, 12:00

Officers from Hertfordshire police are appealing for information after an extremely rare stolen BMW that is one of only three in the UK was traced to Romford.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Awards Directory

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now